Manchester shootings: Second man arrested over deaths of police women

 

Police have arrested a second man in connection with deaths of two unarmed police women in Greater Manchester.

Sir Peter Fahy, Greater Manchester Chief Constable, said a man was detained in Hattersley on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Yesterday, 29-year-old Dale Cregan, who was one of the country's most wanted men, was also being questioned by police after walking into a police station in Hyde.

The news came as Sir Peter defended the decision to bail Dale Cregan.

Sir Peter Fahy said in a statement that the force had no choice but to release Mr Cregan and described the decision as “absolutely normal”.

Constables Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were killed when they attended a routine burglary report at a residence in Abbey Gardens, Mottram yesterday.

It is believed they were attacked with a gun and a grenade.

Sir Peter said today he could not be sure that all the grenades had been recovered from the area, and that officers remain in danger.

"We are not confident that we have recovered all the grenades, we don't know for certain, so we've made it clear to our officers that the threat is still there," he told reporters.

"I would want that to be the message, this has been a long-standing criminal feud between different outfits in Manchester and in the Tameside area, and that threat is very much there.

"As we've indicated as part of this inquiry we've had to issue essentially what we call Osman warnings, threat notices, to a large number of individuals who we felt could be at risk as a result of this particular series of events."

Greater Manchester police said yesterday that it appeared as though the two officers had been deliberately lured to the scene.

Eyewitnesses described a hail of bullets being fired and then a grenade being used in the attack, shortly before 11am.

Pc Bone died at the scene, Pc Hughes was critically injured during the attack and died later in hospital.

The force said that one of the officers' Tasers was found on the ground out of its holster at the scene.

Sir Peter yesterday paid tribute to the officers, describing Miss Hughes as a “chatterbox” and a “great bobby” who was “always smiling”.

He said Miss Bone was a “calm, gentle woman” and an “excellent bobby”.

Police said Miss Bone had been in the middle of planning a civil ceremony for her same-sex partnership.

Shortly after the incident, Dale Cregan, 29, who was being hunted by police for questioning over two separate murders, handed himself in at a police station in Hyde.

Detectives are continuing to question Mr Cregan over the deaths of PCs Hughes and Bone.

Today it emerged that Mr Cregan was released on bail following questioning over the shooting of Mark Short in a Manchester pub.

Police have suggested that he had been hidden in the community as part of a 'criminal conspiracy'.

Commenting on the bail decision, Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said in a statement: “It is absolutely normal in the course of complex crime inquiries that when people are arrested there are occasions where there is insufficient evidence available for them to be charged.

“In those circumstances suspects have to be released on bail as there are strict time limits covering how long suspects can be held in custody without charge. That is exactly what happened in this case.”

Cregan, who only has one eye after reportedly losing the other during a fight in Thailand, was wanted for questioning in relation to the shooting of Mark Short, 23, in a Manchester pub, and Mr Short's father, 46, who was murdered in a gun and grenade attack in August.

Four men have already been charged in connection with Mark Short's murder and will enter pleas at Manchester Crown Court in November.

Following Cregan's release on bail he went on the run, becoming one of Britain's most wanted men prompting a police manhunt.

A £50,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his arrest, and his image had been shown on the screens at a Manchester City football game.

At a press conference yesterday, Sir Peter said it was 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.”

He also said the decision to send two unarmed officers to a burglary report was routine, saying he believed someone had deliberately made the false report in order to lure the officers to the house.

At yesterday's press conference 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.

The shootings have once again reignited the debate over whether police officers should be armed. Speaking yesterday Sir Peter said he believed 'passionately' that police should remain unarmed.

The chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation Ian Hanson called yesterday's killings “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”.

In a statement today, Pc Hughes's family said: “Nicola was our only daughter and a beautiful child. She was always happy with life and lived for her family.

“She had an infectious personality and sense of humour and was a very caring and loving girl. When she left the house this morning she was going to the job she loved.

“Nicola always wanted to make a difference and, in doing so, she made such a big difference to everyone she knew. She cared about everyone and especially her colleagues.

“Nicola was only 23 years old and had the whole of her life in front of her.

“We cannot express how we feel today except to say we have always been exceedingly proud of Nicola and always will be. She knew she was loved by us all and we shall all miss her dreadfully.”

Home Secretary Theresa May is on her way to Manchester to meet Sir Peter later today, the Home Office said.

It is understood she has cut short her holiday in the wake of yesterday's murders.

Greater Manchester police today opened a book of condolences for the two officers on the police website, they said 2,600 messages had already been posted.

Manchester United announced that players would wear black armbands during their Champions League match with Galatasaray as a mark of respect.

Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
Sport
Robin van Persie hands his third-place medal to a supporter
Van Persie gives bronze medal to eccentric fan moments after being handed it by Blatter
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
scienceScientists have developed a material so dark you can't see it...
News
Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
peopleFirst Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
News
Soft power: Matthew Barzun
peopleThe US Ambassador to London, Matthew Barzun, holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence. He says it's all part of the job
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters
peopleWas the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?
News
Rowsell says: 'Wearing wigs is a way of looking normal. I pick a style and colour and stick to it because I don't want to keep wearing different styles'
peopleThe World Champion cyclist Joanna Rowsell on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?