PC Fiona Bone: Manchester Cathedral funeral for shot PC

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy paid tribute to PC Bone

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The funeral of PC Fiona Bone has taken place at Manchester Cathedral.

The 32-year-old constable died in a gun and grenade attack alongside colleague PC Nicola Hughes, 23, in Mottram, Greater Manchester, last month.

Hundreds of police officers and members of the public lined the streets of Manchester as the cortege went past.

Crowds had turned out to pay their respects for the funeral of PC Hughes on Wednesday.

PC Bone's cortege had passed through the city centre from the junction of Deansgate and Quay Street to Manchester Cathedral.

Analysis

It was the gesture of an elderly lady which caught my eye while the service was going on inside the cathedral.

The Chief Constable was citing the words of the founder of the modern police service, Sir Robert Peel "the police are the public and the public are the police".

Outside officers were lined up waiting to form a guard of honour as the funeral cortege departed.

As she was walking past, the elderly woman stopped next to a particularly burly, but particularly gloomy looking policeman.

She went up to him and patted his forearm, saying a few words.

He was clearly touched and put his hand over hers as she turned to go.

Officers and the public all bowed their heads as the cortege passed and ripples of applause broke out along the route.

It was led by six horses from Greater Manchester Police's mounted unit followed by the hearse, bearing the coffin, which was shrouded in black cloth.

On top of the coffin was PC Bone's hat and gloves.

PC Bone's family were led into the cathedral by her partner's five-year-old daughter as a piper played the bagpipes.

Addressing the service, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy paid tribute to PC Bone saying "she set high standards for herself and others".

He said: "Helping people and building community spirit was at the heart of everything she did."

Sir Peter said what stood out about her was "warmth, maturity and humanity" and ended his tribute saying "we will never forget her sacrifice".

He added that PC Bone had received a chief superintendent's commendation in 2009 for her outstanding contribution in an investigation into a series of burglaries and robberies which secured convictions.

He said: "Fiona treated everyone with dignity, compassion and respect whatever their background."

Like PC Hughes, Sir Peter said her "great sacrifice" would not be forgotten.

PC Fiona Bone PC Bone had served with Greater Manchester Police for five years

During the service Bible readings were given by PC Bone's colleagues Insp Jane Brown and PC Tracey Miskell.

Sgt Stephen Miskell told the congregation that PC Bone was "a perfect police officer".

He said: "Fiona was wonderful. She was wonderful at keeping colleagues' spirits high with her bubbly nature. She was wonderful about caring for others.

"Fiona represented the best that humanity has to offer the world but that makes her loss even greater."

The Greater Manchester force had said it wanted anyone touched by the deaths of the two officers to line the streets in a show of support.

The service was relayed by loudspeakers to people outside and was to be followed by a private funeral.

Opening the service, Greater Manchester Police chaplain the Reverend Charles Nevin said: "The depth of sorrow and grief we all feel, touches all our hearts" adding that everyone had come together to "acknowledge the great gift of Fiona's life".

When the hour-long service came to a close, police officers again formed a guard of honour as PC Bone's coffin was carried outside, with her hat, black leather gloves and Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal on top.

Again a piper played a lament - PC Bone, though born in England, had strong connections north of the border and regarded herself as Scottish.

As the hearse pulled away, followed by the other cars in the cortege, officers stood to attention and bowed their heads. The silence was broken by applause from members of the public who had come to pay their respects.

PC Bone will have a private burial in Scotland, attended only by close family and friends.

PC Bone had served with Greater Manchester Police for five years, starting out as a special constable.

Selling wristbands

She lived in Sale with her partner Clare and her daughter and had been planning a civil partnership.

The unarmed police constables had been sent to Abbey Gardens in Mottram to investigate what appeared to be a routine burglary report on 18 September when they were attacked with a gun and grenade.

Dale Cregan, 29, is in custody charged with the officers' murders, along with those of two other men.

The Police Federation has begun selling wristbands in honour of the officers, with all money raised to be donated to their families.

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