Hunt goes on for suspects linked to killing of WPC

Click to follow

Detectives investigating the death of the policewoman Sharon Beshenivsky are expecting to make further arrests in the coming days.

Officers are still trying to identify members of the group involved in the shooting of PC Beshenivsky and her colleague, PC Teresa Milburn. Further arrests are expected in the coming days.

As six suspects, including four Somalis, underwent further police questioning in Yorkshire yesterday, officers from the West Yorkshire and Metropolitan police forces were working in tandem in London, attempting to find others who may have been involved in the raid. The search for the killers turned to London on Saturday after the registration plate of the getaway car was captured by one of 27 remote-controlled digital cameras in Bradford which are linked to a national database of vehicles.

The police raids which resulted in the arrest of the six suspects on Saturday came after a huge deployment of Scotland Yard officers. Hundreds of officers were mobilised, including specialist CO19 firearms teams, members of the armed Flying Squad unit, territorial support group officers and detectives from the specialist crime directorate. Officers from the West Yorkshire constabulary were flown to London by helicopter.

Eyewitnesses described seeing armed police storm a flat on Saturday minutes after a group of Somali men had driven up at speed, sprinted up a staircase and disappeared inside. Officers carrying sub-machine-guns and CS gas canisters surrounded the flat at about 12.15pm, shouting "get down, get down", according to witnesses. Later, they led out three Somalis, who were handcuffed with their trousers round their ankles, and made them lie face down in the road at gunpoint.

The first arrests occurred five hours earlier after two police vehicles approached an occupied silver 4x4 at speed. One eyewitness said the car had been rammed by a police vehicle to force it to stop before the armed officers surrounded it.

A Somali man and white woman were arrested at 7am on Saturday, 16 hours after the shooting. A further three Somali men were arrested at 12.15pm and an Asian man was arrested on the Saturday evening. Five of the six are in their twenties and a sixth suspect in his early thirties. All the foreign nationals have been granted British citizenship.

Last night, detectives were given more time by magistrates to question four men and a woman in connection with the murder of PC Beshenivsky.

As inquiries into PC Beshenivsky's murder continued, her father, Billy Jagger, visited the scene of her death in Morley Street, Bradford, and laid a bouquet among the floral tributes to the officer, who had three children and two stepchildren.

"To a beloved daughter Sharon who will be sadly missed," Mr Jagger's message said. PC Beshenivsky's aunt, Nora Stead, said: "I just hope the people they brought back are the ones they need. I just hope justice is done. [Sharon's] father is taking it really, really badly."

PC Beshenivsky's senior officer described her death as the "worst nightmare" for a police chief as she opened a book of condolence. Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Sarah Brown opened the book along with colleagues at Bradford's City Hall. She said: "The people of Bradford and the country as a whole have given us tremendous support. We have taken some comfort from the messages of condolence we are receiving from throughout the world." The two police officers came under fire at about 3.30pm on Friday, within 120 seconds of reaching the Universal Express travel agency and encountering three armed raiders. PC Beshenivsky was killed by a bullet which penetrated her armoured vest and hit her in the chest.

Shahid Bhatti, the owner of Bradford Travel in Bradford city centre, said that "a pattern" of similar such robberies had been established over 10 years.

"We have been targeted because people know about the money transfers," he said. "This incident is a horrible tragedy, but we've been expecting something like this."