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Ten held in murder probe after police officer killed in Berkshire

UK News | Published:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ”deeply shocked’ at the news.

Ten people have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a police officer was killed while attending a reported burglary in Berkshire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked” and “appalled” at the news Pc Andrew Harper had died after a “serious incident” at around 11.30pm on Thursday near the A4, Bath Road, between Reading and Newbury.

Thames Valley Police said 10 boys and men aged between 13 and 30 have been arrested on suspicion of murder and remain in custody at various police stations in the force area.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the PA news agency he was “totally shocked” by the death and said it highlighted the need for more police officers on the streets.

Police said they were still establishing the circumstances in which Pc Harper, from the Roads Policing Proactive Unit based at Abingdon Police Station, was killed while carrying out his duties.

Officers remain at the scene of the incident, which is cordoned off while evidence is gathered.

On Friday afternoon, forensic investigators could be seen gathering items that lay on the road and taking photographs. Two white tents have also been erected.

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Police officer killed in Berkshire
(PA Graphics)

Pictures of the scene show a blood trail on the road leading across the junction.

Police officers laid two bunches of flowers inside the cordon, while other officers guarded the perimeter.

Ufton Lane and Lambdens Hill remain closed but the A4, Bath Road, has reopened, police said.

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The incident comes after a police constable was run over by a suspected car thief in Birmingham last week.

The married 42-year-old traffic officer from West Midlands Police is facing “potentially life-changing” injuries, a senior officer told PA.

This came just days after Metropolitan Police constable Stuart Outten, 28, was left with head and hand injuries after challenging a motor offences suspect allegedly armed with a machete in Leyton, east London.

Mr Johnson’s comments followed his pledge to hire 20,000 more police officers and an announcement of a range of investments to boost the criminal justice system. He also vowed to see violent offenders locked up for longer as a result of an “urgent review” of sentencing laws.

Andy Fiddler, from Thames Valley Police Federation, said the death of Pc Harper was “totally devastating”, adding: “All our thoughts – and the thoughts of the entire police family across the UK – are with the family, friends and close colleagues of Pc Andrew Harper who died last night.”

Aerial view of the scene at Ufton Lane, near Sulhamstead, Berkshire
Aerial view of the scene at Ufton Lane, near Sulhamstead, Berkshire (Steve Parsons/PA)

“Our thoughts also extend to all of Andrew’s colleagues within Thames Valley Police.

“As a force we are devastated at the loss of our colleague and will all be supporting each other at this difficult time.”

Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Blaik, of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit, said: “This is a tragic incident, and I would like to reassure the public as well as our officers and staff that we have launched a full and thorough investigation to establish what has happened.

“We have made a total of 10 arrests in connection with this incident, and those arrested are currently in police custody. Those arrested are all male and aged between 13 and 30.

“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed this incident to get in touch. If you have any information which you think could be at all relevant to our investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please leave details on our website or call 101.”

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