West Midlands Ambulance Service has welcomed the introduction of a law that will see those who kill emergency workers given mandatory life sentences.

The government announced today, Wednesday November 24, that it intends to introduce Harper’s Law, named after police officer Andrew Harper, who was killed in the line of duty in 2019.

The announcement marks the end of a two-year campaign by the PC's wife Lissie Harper.

Pc Harper, 28, died from his injuries when he was caught in a strap attached to the back of a car and dragged down a winding country road as the trio fled the scene of a quad bike theft in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on the night of August 15 2019.

Henry Long, 19, was sentenced to 16 years and 18-year-olds Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers were handed 13 years in custody over the manslaughter of the Thames Valley Police traffic officer.

Long, the leader of the group, admitted manslaughter, while passengers Cole and Bowers were convicted of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

All three were cleared of murder by the jury.

The sentences prompted Mrs Harper to lobby the Government to better protect emergency services workers on the front line.

Today's news has been well-received by WMAS chief executive Anthony Marsh.

He said: “Our ambulance crews go above and beyond every single day, often in very difficult circumstances, but the appalling reality is that on average, at least one member of our staff is physical assaulted every single day and last year, two were stabbed.

“All too often our staff are left feeling let down by the justice system when people convicted of assaulting them receive disappointingly light sentences, so anything that provides our staff with more protection can only be a good thing.

“It is imperative that the wider judiciary be more consistent in applying tougher sentences to perpetrators who are convicted of any form of violence, aggression or abuse towards our staff, not just those that result in a death.

“Violence and aggression towards anyone is unacceptable, but emergency services workers need particular additional protection due to the nature of their work on the frontline”

Harper’s Law is expected to to make it on to the statute books in an amendment to the existing Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, meaning it is likely to get Royal Assent and become law early next year.

In October, WMAS started rolling out the use of body worn cameras for all frontline staff while a three-month trial is taking place at Willenhall Hub to examine the viability of providing stab proof vests to staff.

Willenhall-based paramedic Deena Evans was one of those stabbed last year and is taking part in the trial.

She said: “It’s a shame it’s come to this, but I couldn’t be more relieved! I feel less anxious about working frontline shifts wearing it.”