Oxford

Andrew Harper: Thousands of bikers to ride in PC's memory

PC Andrew Harper and his wife Lissie Image copyright Family handout
Image caption PC Andrew Harper had married his wife Lissie four weeks before his death

More than 4,000 motorcyclists are set to take part in a "ride of respect" in memory of a police officer who was killed on duty.

PC Andrew Harper, 28, died after he was dragged along a road by a vehicle in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August.

Biker Sian Sloper, who is organising the event from RAF Benson to Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire, said the ride would take place on 27 October.

Three teenagers remain in custody charged with murdering PC Harper.

Ms Sloper said she decided to organise the ride honouring the constable "to do something nice and bring the community together", before news of the event spread and attracted interest across the country.

The mother-of-three, from Caversham, said she "never imagined" her group would gather more than 9,000 members when it was created three days after PC Harper's death.

She said the ride would be conducted in a "calm and respectful" fashion to honour the Abingdon-based roads policing officer.

"It's going to be a really lovely occasion but at the same time people have to remember the reason we are doing it," she said.

Image copyright Sian Sloper
Image caption Sian Sloper decided to organise the event originally for community members

Ms Sloper said she expected "4,000 plus" bikers to gather from 09:00 BST at RAF Benson and leave at 12:00.

The 30-year-old hairdresser said she had "never done anything like this before" but had "dedicated the last couple of months" organising road closures and safety measures.

"It's just gained momentum so quickly. It really shows the support the police has," she added.

PC Harper's funeral is due to take place on 14 October.

Image copyright Sian Sloper
Image caption The date for the memorial ride to remember PC Andrew Harper has been set

PC Harper, from Wallingford in Oxfordshire, died from multiple injuries after he was struck on the A4 Bath Road while investigating a reported burglary.

Henry Long, 18, from Reading, and two boys, 17, who cannot be named, are accused of murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

Jed Foster was also accused of murder but prosecutors dropped his charges following further police investigation.

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