Oxford

PC Andrew Harper: 5,000 bikers join 'ride in respect' for killed PC

Bikes Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A sea of motorcycles packed out RAF Benson, the starting point for the journey

The widow of a police officer who was killed in the line of duty has led almost 5,000 motorcyclists in a "ride of respect" in his honour.

PC Andrew Harper, 28, died as he responded to reports of a burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on 15 August.

His wife Lissie, followed closely by other family members, led the huge convoy on a 15-mile route from RAF Benson to Abingdon Airfield in Oxfordshire.

Sian Sloper, who organised the ride, said she was "overwhelmed" by the support shown.

Lissie Harper on bike
Image caption Lissie Harper was the passenger on her husband's motorcycle (nearest to the camera) , which was ridden by her brother Jake Beckett
Biker Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Bikers from all over the country travelled to the RAF base before setting off at about midday.
Sian Sloper Image copyright Sian Sloper
Image caption Sian Sloper said she decided to organise the ride "to do something nice and bring the community together", before news of the event attracted interest from across the country
Bikes Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Members of the public also gathered along the route to show their support as the collection of bikes, trikes, pillions and even a tuk-tuk went past
Bikes Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Memorial plaques and police flags were attached to many of the bikes taking part
Motorbikes
Image caption Organisers said "a lot of money" had been raised for PC Harper's family and designated charities. An RAF Benson spokesman said: "There were motorcycles as far as the eye can see." He said bikers started leaving "in groups of about 500" from midday, and "by 2pm they were probably only half-way through". PC Harper's family was "overwhelmed with the support when they arrived", he added
PC Andrew Harper Image copyright Family handout
Image caption PC Harper, from Wallingford, died from multiple injuries after he was struck on the A4 Bath Road. Suspects Henry Long, 18, from Mortimer in Reading, and two 17-year-old boys, who cannot be named because of their age, have been charged with murder and conspiracy to steal a quad bike. Thomas King, 21, from Basingstoke, is also accused of conspiracy to steal a quad bike.

All photographs are subject to copyright.

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