Greater Manchester Police Federation says 'thank you' to the public

The funerals of Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were attended by thousands
The funerals of Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were attended by thousands Photo: PA Wire/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The chairman of the Greater Manchester Police Federation has thanked the public for their support in what he describes as 'probably the most challenging' few weeks in the force's 38-year history.

In an open letter published on the GMP Federation website, Ian Hanson said the backing of the public and wider police family had been greatly appreciated following the deaths of Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes last month.

"To our police colleagues around the UK and to the people of Greater Manchester, you have been there for us when we needed you, just as we will be there for you when you need us.

"On behalf of the police officers of Greater Manchester that we proudly represent I want to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last few weeks"

– Ian Hanson, Chairman, Greater Manchester Police Federation
Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were shot dead in Hattersley on September 18
Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were shot dead in Hattersley on September 18 Credit: ITV Granada

Mr Hanson said Nicola and Fiona's families wanted to thank the thousands of people who had sent cards and letters.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Friends,

The past few weeks have been probably the most challenging in Greater Manchester Police`s 38 year history. The events of Tuesday 18th September 2012 will forever be etched in the memories of those men and women who make up GMP.

The impact of what happened that fateful day can never be measured, however GMP has kept going because the men and women who make up GMP had no choice. You did this whilst trying to find your own time to grieve and make sense of things that could have no explanation.

The families of Nicola and Fiona have been inundated with messages of support from GMP and beyond and each have asked that we pass on their very sincere thanks and appreciation for the thousands of messages of cards and letters they have received.

Last week saw what us probably the biggest gathering of police officers to mourn their colleagues in history. Officers from every corner of the British Isles stood side by side along Deansgate to remember two young colleagues who were cut down in their prime doing the same job as them.

The trains and trams into Manchester were packed as colleagues made the sad but massively important journey into our city. We heard stories of officers coming home off holidays abroad because they needed to be there and teams finishing work at midnight and then driving through the night in hired mini buses because they wanted to be there to say goodbye to Fiona and Nicola.

This tragedy goes well beyond our tight-knit police family though. The people of Greater Manchester have been sickened and horrified by what happened and came out in their droves to stand side by side with their police. Together we brought the city centre to a standstill as Manchester said thank you and goodbye to its brave young officers. What this has done is shown to everyone what we already knew, which is that the overwhelming proportion of the people of Greater Manchester are honest and decent and are completely behind those who police their communities every day. We are no different than the people of Manchester we watch over, we just wear a uniform at work.

To our police colleagues around the UK and to the people of Greater Manchester, you have been there for us when we needed you, just as we will be there for you when you need us. On behalf of the police officers of Greater Manchester that we proudly represent I want to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last few weeks.

Ian

– Ian Hanson, Chairman, Greater Manchester Police Federation