June 20 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A policewoman killed as she went to investigate what appeared to be a routine burglary in Manchester is reported to have been born in Ipswich.
Pc Fiona Bone, 32, died alongside her colleague Pc Nicola Highes, 23 when Dale Cregan, 29, attacked them with a gun and a grenade yesterday, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.
Police today continue to question Cregan – one of the country’s most wanted men – who faces accusations that he killed two unarmed policewomen “in an act of cold-blooded murder” before giving himself up.
The Sun today reported Pc Bone was originally from the town. GMP told The Star they have no record of where the 32-year-old was born.
The force’s Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “It would appear Cregan has deliberately done this in an act of cold-blooded murder.”
After the murders, the fugitive, already wanted in connection with separate gun and grenade attacks that killed father and son David and Mark Short, gave himself up at nearby Hyde police station in Greater Manchester.
It emerged last night that Cregan was arrested in June in connection with the murder of Mark Short but was released on bail pending further inquiries.
Sir Peter said yesterday may have been one of the “darkest days” in the history of the police service.
He told reporters: “Clearly we are devastated today by the loss of two of our officers.
“This is one of the darkest days in the history of the Greater Manchester Police if not for the police service overall, because we have lost two deeply loved and valued colleagues, because they are part of our team. Policing is very much a family.”
Miss Bone’s father Paul told The Daily Telegraph yesterday: “Bring back hanging. Let policemen shoot people on sight. I am just so completely shocked. She was such a lovely girl. I can’t even bring myself to think about the wedding.”
The chief constable said it was routine to send unarmed officers to a burglary call and that the force believed Cregan was in the property in Abbey Gardens, Hattersley overnight.
Sir Peter said police were working under the assumption that Cregan or someone else reported a burglary but because the address was not known to officers, the policewomen were sent to the scene unarmed.
He said: “When they arrived, it appears that Cregan emerged into the road and killed these two officers. A firearm was used, a grenade was also used.”
Sir Peter said he believed Cregan had been “protected by a criminal conspiracy to harbour him”, adding that the force was “fully determined” to investigate that conspiracy and bring those involved “to book”.
Two people from the house, a man and a woman, were helping police with inquiries last night.
Sir Peter said he was not aware that Cregan had contacted police at any time during their manhunt or made any threats to police officers.
But he added that police had been looking at a range of scenarios including Cregan trying to kill other people as a result of the gangland feud he was involved in.
The outrage prompted renewed calls for the routine arming of police.
But Sir Peter said his force believed “passionately” that police should remain unarmed, despite the tragedy.
Cregan, who only has one eye after reportedly losing the other during a fight in Thailand, had been the subject of a huge manhunt after the murders of David Short, 46, and his son Mark, 23. A £50,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his arrest.
David Short was killed at his home in Folkestone Road East, Clayton, Manchester, on August 10, while Mark was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub in nearby Droylsden, on May 25.
Four men have already been charged in connection with Mark Short’s murder and will enter pleas at Manchester Crown Court in November.
A 33-year-old man and a 24-year-old man have been charged with the gun and grenade murder of David Short.
The chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation Ian Hanson called the deaths “the slaughter of the innocents”.
He said: “I’m going to look beyond the uniform here. What we’ve got are two young girls that went out this morning and they’ve got an absolute right to come home tonight to their loved ones. This is cold-blooded murder. It’s the slaughter of the innocents. GMP is a family.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said the killings were an “absolutely despicable act of pure evil”.
Eyewitnesses said a hail of bullets was fired and then a grenade was used during the attack, shortly before 11am. One of the officers died at the scene. The second was critically injured and died later.
Cregan is being questioned on suspicion of the murder of the two police officers and also the murders of David and Mark Short.
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