Police took steps to inform family members of their decision to "respectfully dispose" of the remains when they realised a journalist was going to report the story, Sir Peter Fahy said.
As soon as we knew that a journalist had become aware of this, specially trained officers visited all of the families involved and fully explained our rationale which they all took on board and fully understood.
We now continue to support these families as they are now forced to relive the hurt and upset yet again.
– sir peter facy, chief constable, Great Manchester Police
The chief constable of Great Manchester Police said that officers "agonised" over whether or not to seek permission to dispose of the remains of some of Harold Shipman's victims.
Sir Peter Fahy said they decided not to tell the families to save them reliving "upset and distress".
This was not a decision that we took lightly, in fact it was a decision that we agonised over for a number of months with a number of independent advisory groups, partner agencies and other professionals.
It was never our intention to cause the families any pain or distress. These families had not only experienced the upset of losing a family member but had had to relive it in the glare of the media and the public time and time again - that is something that most people will thankfully never have to experience.
A number of years had passed since the trial and Shipman's death and was it right for us to cause even more upset and distress by making the families relive this yet again?
– sir peter fahy, chief constable, Great Manchester Police
Officers at one of England's biggest forces only investigate four out of ten crimes reported to them, the head of Greater Manchester Police revealed.
Sir Peter Fahy said: "Frankly it's no good giving ten officers 200 crimes to investigate because they are actually just going to be overwhelmed.
"So we look at those crimes where there is the best chance of getting a result and obviously concentrate on the most serious crimes, the ones the public are most concerned about, where there is greatest threat harm and risk."
Special Correspondent Rageh Omaar spoke to residents in Manchester and found they agreed with the chief constable.
A man has died after police shot him with a Taser, Greater Manchester Police said.
The 23-year-old suffered a "medical episode" and died after police shot him with a stun gun. Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said:
Police received a 999 call reporting a disturbance on Beard Road in Gorton. Officers were dispatched immediately and arrived in eight minutes. On arrival, a Taser was discharged to detain a 23-year-old man.
At this time it is unclear what happened, but at some point afterwards the man suffered a medical episode. Paramedics performed first aid on the man at the scene before he was taken to hospital where he sadly died
Greater Manchester Police has referred itself to the Police Complaints Commission.
Footage of a balaclava-wearing man attacking a police car with a paving slab has been released by Greater Manchester Police.
The attack happened in North Reddish at around 12.35am on Sunday 7 July when officers attempted to stop a stolen Audi A6.
A number of men got out of the stolen vehicle and attacked the police car with paving slabs and baseball bats before escaping - no officers were hurt in the attack.
Chief Inspector Mark Dexter from GMP's Road Policing Unit said: "Thankfully none of the officers were injured during this attack, although this could easily have been a very different story."
“We are determined to catch those responsible. If you have any information about this incident, or if you know who the man in the CCTV footage is, please get in touch as your information could be vital to our investigation," he added.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.