Police Federation Chief Tells PM How He Can Keep Officers Safe After PC Harper's Death

17 August 2019, 16:11

This is the Police Federation chief's passionate message to Boris Johnson on how he can keep officers save following the death of PC Andrew Harper.

PC Harper was killed while performing his duties on Thursday night as he attended a reported burglary in Berkshire.

Speaking to LBC's Andrew Castle, John Apter - who leads the police union - gave the new Prime Minister a list of things he needs to do to protect officers.

He said: "It's about numbers, my colleagues cannot cope with the pressure they are under with the amount of calls we are getting.

"But also, it's about the vulnerabilities that my officers have. When they are out on call and the nearest back-up is 20 or 30 minutes away, that is a vulnerability that should not be acceptable. So we need more officers, absolutely.

John Apter spoke to Andrew Castle following the death of PC Andrew Harper
John Apter spoke to Andrew Castle following the death of PC Andrew Harper. Picture: LBC

"We also need more equipment. I've been talking about taser and more armed officers.

"I'm guided by my colleagues. If the majority want more tasers, that's what I'll fight for. At this moment in time, they want more dedicated firearms officers to protect them.

"And the final thing for me. We need there to be a deterrent. So many times, I see these idiots who assault my colleagues getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist. They walk away from court laughing, sticking two fingers up at justice while my colleagues have to deal with the consequences.

"It's time the courts and the government got really serious about this."

It was a passionate call to protect officers that all police need to listen to. Watch it at the top of the page.