Remembering officers decade after tragedy

By Paul Hardman   |   Reporter   |
Tuesday 20th September 2022 7:00 pm
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Fiona Bone (left) and fellow officer Nicola Hughes

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Greater Manchester Police held a memorial service at Hyde police station over the weekend to mark 10 years since former Manx resident PC Fiona Bone was shot dead in the line of duty.

PC Bone, 32, who grew up in Port St Mary, and PC Nicola Hughes, 23, had been responding to a false report of a burglary in Tameside when they were ambushed by armed fugitive Dale Cregan, who had been lying in wait for them at the house.

PC Bone was commended for her bravery in fighting back, having drawn and fired her taser.

Cregan, who had been on the run from police after committing a double murder, later handed himself in at a police station and is currently serving a whole life sentence at Merseyside’s Ashworth Hospital, a high security psychiatric facility.

Both PC Bone and PC Hughes had only just joined the force and were serving as probationary officers.

PC Bone’s father Paul spoke to Manx Radio about the memorial event, saying: ‘It’s quite difficult in some respects, but in others it’s marvellous that other people still want to remember Fiona and Nicola at this time.

He talked about how he was told that the police station where the memorial was being held had to close streets to accommodate the crowd, which consisted not only of police but of many members of the local community.

Mr Bone said that the family also attended a memorial placed near to the site where the women were killed, for ‘quiet reflection and to try not to have too many tears, really. ‘

Asked about how much they have with PC Hughes’ family, Mr Bone explained that once or twice a year they meet up at the GMP memorial in Sedgley.

He went on to talk about how it was ‘disappointing’ that while gun crime thing in all this’ is how just after their deaths, gun crime decreased in Manchester, but since then it is creeping back up.

‘So the effect as such is wearing off, but then I again I don’t the people that use guns were really that affected by Fiona and Nicola’s death.

Mr Bone said it is ‘still quite shocking’ to see their picture reappear in the national media, adding that ‘every time a high profile police death happens it triggers your loss again, because you know what the family’s going through and you start going through it again’.

At the service, Tameside District Commander Chief Superintendent Phil Davies gave the following statement: ‘Although 10 years has passed the emotion and grief is still felt on anniversaries such as this and reminds us of the dangerous situations’ officers face on a daily basis.

‘On Sunday we will come together with Nicola and Fiona’s families and honoured guests to reflect on the passing of a decade since they made the ultimate sacrifice for the oath they took as police officers.’

‘Nicola and Fiona’s essence and presence remain with us and is tangibly felt by those who knew and worked with them, but also their colleagues who have joined the GMP family after their passing.’