Overwhelmed by support
September 19, 2012, 7:01 pm
Greater Manchester Police has been overwhelmed with the support received from the public, following the death of two police officers whilst on duty yesterday.
PC Nicola Hughes, aged 23 and PC Fiona Bone, aged 32, were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am on Tuesday 18 September 2012.
A number of shots were fired and a grenade was also used. The two officers, who were both unarmed, suffered fatal injuries and Fiona sadly died at the scene. Nicola also sadly died a short time later.
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Police are investigating the circumstances around the original call to GMP to report the crime the officers attended.
A short time later, 29-year-old Dale Cregan was arrested after he walked into a police station in Tameside.
Earlier today, a 28-year-old man was arrested in the Hattersley area on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. He has been taken into police custody for questioning.
Cregan remains in police custody where he continues to be questioned on suspicion of the murder of the two police officers. He was also arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the murders of David Short and Mark Short.
Since yesterday morning, GMP has received 25,000 condolence messages on the GMP website condolence book, more than 19,000 messages of support on Facebook and more than 1,000 direct messages on Twitter. More than 1,207, 300 people have also viewed GMPs updates on Facebook.
Staff within GMP and other emergency services observed a minutes silence at 11am today, exactly 24 hours after the incident took place.
Organisations around Greater Manchester and beyond have shown support by flying flags at half mast and football players will tonight be wearing black armbands as a sign of respect for the two officers.
Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “Greater Manchester Police has been overwhelmed by the huge degree of public support following the sad deaths of two of our officers yesterday.
“Our main priority at the moment is to do everything we can to support the families of Nicola and Fiona, who have an incredible amount to come to terms with. Our thoughts remain with them.
“The whole Force is devastated by the deaths of Nicola and Fiona, but to know at this difficult time that the public supports what the police do and feel so strongly about the sacrifice of these two officers, is hugely important to us.
“Our investigation into these two deaths is ongoing and we have arrested a man today on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder. We will continue with the fullest of investigations to ensure that anyone that was involved is brought to justice for what they have done.”
A book of condolence is available online at www.gmp.police.uk for anyone who wishes to leave messages for the two officers.