Vigil held for shot police officers

First published in National News © by

The relatives of two murdered policewomen have joined hundreds of their colleagues and members of the public for a vigil and minute's silence.

Pcs Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, had been called to a burglary on the Hattersley estate in Tameside, Greater Manchester, when they were attacked last Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of people gathered near Abbey Gardens, Hattersley, where the silence was observed at 10.58am to mark a week since the attack. At the entrance to the road was a stage with two large pictures of the fallen constables.

Leading Greater Manchester Police were Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and ACC Garry Shewan. Rank and file police officers standing nearby, some carrying candles, bowed their heads in sombre thought as the silence was observed.

Members of the public crowded under umbrellas to shelter from the relentless rain.

Chief Superintendent Nick Adderley, the top officer in the Tameside Division for Greater Manchester Police, said: "The numbers of people that are here today not only symbolises the popularity of what Nicola and Fiona stood for.

"But it is also a symbol of hope that actually, within the community, we want to rid these communities of individuals that cause fear, cause misery. Together, as a consequence of Nicola and Fiona's deaths, we are determined ever more to do that."

Community volunteer Elsie Dixon paid tribute to the two officers and said their deaths would not be in vain. She said Hattersley was a "community in mourning" adding: "Those two girls are precious. We are a community that care, not just for ourselves but for each other and for the people that serve our community."

Addressing the crowd, Sir Peter described GMP as "one big family". He added: "We have lost two members of our family and we feel that loss very, very deeply." He said the force and the families of the women had been "hugely moved and uplifted" by the support shown by the public in the local community, Manchester and around the world, adding: "We treasure the memory of Fiona and Nicola."

Dale Cregan has appeared in court accused of the murder of the officers.

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