Manchester police deaths: Vigil for PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, spoke of the loss to the force of "two members of our family"

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A vigil has been held in memory of two police officers who were shot dead in Greater Manchester.

PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes died from gunshot wounds in an attack in Mottram last Tuesday.

Residents joined about 40 officers in a walk from Hyde police station to the scene of the killings ahead of the vigil, which started at 10:45 BST.

Funerals for PCs Bone and Hughes will take place at Manchester Cathedral next Wednesday and Thursday.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with the officers' murders, along with those of two other men.

'Hugely moved'

About 400 people attended the service, despite the pouring rain, which featured addresses from Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy and the Reverend James Halstead.

There was a minute's silence at 10:58 BST.

At the scene in Mottram

They walked in silence, through the rain, to remember two fallen colleagues.

Exactly a week on, up to 40 police officers from Hyde police station where PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were based, marched the three miles to Mottram to pay their respects at a vigil.

On the way, dozens more officers joined them until they arrived on Ashworth Lane, close to where the two women were shot dead.

The mood was sombre and reflective. Some held candles, others clutched bouquets of flowers or single red roses during a minute's silence.

As half a dozen white balloons were released, police officers hugged each other.

After the "darkest day in the history of Greater Manchester Police" this was a moment for the communities of Mottram and Hattersley and the officers who serve them, to stand side by side and reflect.

Photographs of the two officers were on display above floral tributes at the junction of Ashworth Lane and Abbey Gardens, where the vigil took place.

Sir Peter said it was a chance to "pray for the dead officers and their families".

He said: "I think what you have seen over the past week is Greater Manchester Police is one big family and we have lost two members of our family and we feel that loss very deeply.

"I know the families of Fiona and Nicola have been hugely moved and uplifted by the great public support from around the country, around the world, but particularly from the people of Hattersley and Mottram."

He added: "I would like to say a huge thank-you to you all for being here.

"We treasure the memory of Fiona and Nicola, their great service, which symbolises the great service by so many police officers and police staff, day in day out, doing their best to try and serve the public."

Ch Supt Nick Adderley, who also spoke at the gathering, said the numbers of people present "symbolised the popularity of what Nicola and Fiona stood for".

Mr Halstead led a prayer for families "in shock and grief from the turmoil over the events of the last few days" and friends and colleagues of the officers.

'Hearts overflowing'

Community volunteer Elsie Dixon also spoke at the service about how the deaths had hurt the community.

"Our police officers are part of our community and those girls were special.

"Our hearts are overflowing with tears. As many raindrops as you see, as many petals as you see on the flowers."

PC Fiona Bone (left) and PC Nicola Hughes PC Fiona Bone (left) and PC Nicola Hughes were shot in Mottram a week ago

She added: "Those tears are within each of our hearts."

PC Jo Wainhouse, who organised the three-mile march from Hyde police station to Mottram and the vigil, said: "We felt that Nicola and Fiona left here, went to Mottram and never came back.

"So we felt that we'd like to walk so that after the vigil we can pay our respects and then walk back and feel that they are walking back with us in spirit."

The leader of Tameside Council Kieran Quinn and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde Jonathan Reynolds, who lives in the area, also took part in the vigil.

Mr Reynolds said local people "wanted to show their support for the police and how they feel about the tragedy".

Funerals for the dead officers will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 October.

PC Hughes's service will be held at 13:00 BST on Wednesday, with PC Bone's being held on the following day at 10:00 BST.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police Federation said GMP were "engaged in discussions with the families as to precisely what the arrangements will be for each service".

He said that "early indications" suggested the force would be taking up offers of assistance by officers from around the country to cover shifts and allow GMP staff to attend the ceremonies.

He added that the organisation was intending to sell £1 charity wristbands commemorating the two officers and would be donating any money raised to their families.

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