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Manchester police killings: Church services held

image captionPCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were killed on Tuesday

Church services have been held in Greater Manchester to remember PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone.

During a morning service in Hattersley, the Bishop of Shrewsbury spoke of the "shock and horror" of Tuesday's events.

And a service of reflection was held later at St Michael's Church, Mottram, close to where the women were killed.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with their murders and those of two other people. He will appear at Manchester Crown Court via videolink on Monday.

A remembrance service was also due to be held in PC Hughes's home village of Diggle, Oldham, where a book of condolence is on display for the public to sign at Kiln Green church.

'Very dark day'

Speaking from Mottram, the BBC's North of England correspondent Danny Savage said there had been a "steady flow" of people placing flowers close to where PC Bone and PC Hughes were killed.

He said police had removed all the cards and messages left at the scene so they would not be damaged by the heavy rain that has been forecast overnight.

"They want to preserve all these sentiments that people have left, perhaps in time for the families of the two officers to see as well," he said.

media captionThe Right Reverend Mark Davies: "Police officers do not ask who it is that calls for their help"

He added that Greater Manchester Police (GMP) had been "overwhelmed" by messages of support from the public and other police officers throughout the country who have offered to provide cover so GMP officers can attend the funerals of PCs Bone and Hughes.

During morning mass at St James the Great church, the Rt Rev Mark Davies, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Shrewsbury, led prayers for the officers, their families, friends and colleagues.

The bishop said: "Police officers do not ask who it is that calls for their help but see their duty as responding to every emergency and so we remember today that they died here in our service, in fulfilling their duty for our protection."

Greater Manchester's Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said a prayer vigil would also be held on Tuesday, a week on from the officers' deaths.

Speaking to the BBC's Songs of Praise in an interview, Sir Peter said the force was a "family" and his faith was important to him after the "very, very dark day".

'Minimum of force'

"I think a lot of us feel passionately that policing is a vocation. It is a calling," he said.

"I feel that in terms of my own faith but I know a lot of officers that don't have a faith, but feel exactly the same.

"You do often feel so helpless, so praying for the dead officers, praying for their families, becomes your own reaction, your own expression of hope really for them, at a time of great need."

image captionSir Peter Fahy said he often felt "helpless"

Sir Peter expressed his pride in being part of an "unarmed police force" that uses "minimum force".

He said: "We believe very much in what Robert Peel laid down for us back in 1829, that we are a routinely unarmed police force, that we use the minimum of force and that we have this close, very close, connection with the community that we serve and that is really, really important to us."

PCs Hughes and Bone died in a grenade and gun attack when they were called to reports of a burglary in Hattersley on Tuesday.

Mr Cregan was charged with their murders on Thursday, as well as the murders of father and son David and Mark Short.

Twenty-three-year-old Mark Short died from a gunshot wound to the neck in a shooting in the Cotton Tree Inn in Droylsden, Greater Manchester, on 25 May.

David Short, 46, was found dead at a house in Folkestone Road East, Clayton, Greater Manchester, on 10 August after police were called following reports of gunshots.

A 15-year-old boy, detained on suspicion of assisting an offender on Friday, has been bailed until next Thursday.

More on this story

  • Manchester police murders: Boy aged 15 arrested