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Families of police officers killed in the line of duty are to receive legally guaranteed support after their deaths

THE families of police officers killed in the line of duty such as PC Andrew Harper are to receive legally guaranteed support after their deaths.

Addressing top officers tomorrow, Priti Patel will speak of her revulsion at police killers who “laugh in the face of the law”.

And the Home Secretary will unveil the new Police Covenant to protect police, staff and families of those slain in action.

It will focus on physical protection, health and wellbeing, and family support.

The new law to enshrine the protections for the police is similar to those that already exist for the military.

Following meetings with PC Harper’s widow Lissie, the covenant will have a special focus on police families as well as frontline officers and backroom staff.

PC Harper was dragged to his death by a getaway car after a burglary in Berkshire last year.

The covenant will address major inconsistencies across forces in terms of financial and emotional support for families of officers killed in the line of duty.

Ms Patel will tell the Police Superintendents’ Association: “The police and the families that stand behind them deserve special recognition.

“Their bravery and sacrifices are what keep us and our loved ones safe.

“I will put the Police Covenant in law to ensure they will always have the support of the nation.”

The law will give ministers a statutory duty to do more to support the police and the Home Secretary will have to report annually to MPs on it.

Welcoming the new law, Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, said: “The Police Covenant will provide formal recognition and a sign of clear value to the families of officers and staff who have made sacrifices in carrying out their duties.”

He added: “This important step forward will ensure that our duty to our people begins to mirror that of our duty to the public.”

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