A SENIOR police officer in Cumbria said he welcomed any legislation that would protect emergency workers as the campaign for Harper’s Law gathered pace.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Webster was responding to the campaign set up by the widow of PC Andrew Harper, who got caught in a crane strap attached to the back of a car driven by Henry Long.

Long, 19, was acquitted of murder but admitted manslaughter of PC Harper, a Thames Valley Police traffic officer. Long is now appealing against his 16-year prison sentence, which comes days after his co-accused, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers, both 18, lodged applications seeking permission to challenge their convictions and 13-year prison sentences.

The three prison sentences have been referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General for judges to decide whether they are too lenient.

PC Harper’s widow is campaigning for Harper’s Law, which would mean those who kill emergency workers are jailed for life.

Commenting on Long’s appeal, Lissie Harper said: “This update comes as no surprise to me following news that two of them are also seeking leave to appeal against their conviction.

“None of Andrew’s killers have shown any remorse. So this is just carrying on the way that they are and have been throughout the past year.

“It is upsetting - but just helps to drive my determination with my campaign calling for Harper’s Law.”

Mrs Harper and her 28-year-old husband had been married for just four weeks when he and a police colleague responded to a late-night burglary which occurred in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, in August last year.

More than 500,000 people have now signed an online petition supporting her campaign and she is due to meet Home Secretary Priti Patel next month for talks.

PC Harper’s mother, Debbie Adlam, said: “My family and I totally respect anyone’s right to appeal against their sentence. We live in a fair society.

“However, this news, coming as it does on the very last day that he had to put in his appeal, is simply another kick in the stomach that leaves us all feeling awful. “We will recover from this as we have to do but my thoughts today are absolutely with my heroic son who gave his life trying to protect others and those responsible for his loss will not live rent free in my head.”

Mr Webster continued to say: “The safety of officers and staff is a priority and we would welcome any legislation that would protect emergency service workers going about their duty.

“Nobody deserves to be a victim of assault, especially our emergency services who go to work to protect the public.”