'Fantastic legacy' of murdered Pcs
The murders of Pcs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone left a legacy of a united police force determined to serve the public despite the risk to their own safety, the group representing rank-and-file officers has said.
Ian Hanson, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, described one-eyed killer Dale Cregan as a "monster" after he lured Pcs Hughes, 23, and Bone, 32, to their deaths in a horrifying gun and grenade attack.
He went on the run days before he killed David Short, 46, last August after he gunned down his son, Mark, 23, in a pub in Droylsden three months earlier. The manhunt reached a ghastly conclusion on September 18 when he lured the constables with a bogus 999 call to a house in Hattersley.
Cregan was jailed for life at Preston Crown Court on Thursday. Mr Justice Holroyde criticised him for not showing any signs of remorse or compassion for his victims during the four-month trial.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hanson described Greater Manchester Police as "a family", saying it would "come together" to "do the job".
He said: "The most important legacy they can leave is that we can carry on doing that job. We don't have the option of stopping and pausing and not responding. Within minutes of that horrific act happening, police officers were out there responding to incidents just like they went to. We have to do that and we will do that.
"It's important that the public know that, come what may. And that's a fantastic legacy they leave. We have to remember that the overwhelming number of people in Greater Manchester are thoroughly decent people who will stand by their police force."
Mr Hanson, who was an inspector with the police and said he remembered Pc Bone's first day on shift when she arrived at the force as an "incredibly polite, well-mannered, keen" new starter, said officers would continue to serve the public despite the risks to their personal safety.
He said: "We have to be realistic about the risk but equally we have to identify this was a one-off incident committed by a monster. Yes we have got a job to do, it's a very dangerous job and nobody's under any illusions about that. But we will carry on doing that, we've got to carry on, communities are expecting it."
He also described how hardened criminals in Manchester "disassociated themselves" from Cregan's actions. Mr Hanson said: "I heard one story on the day of someone very well known to the police handing in a bouquet of flowers and saying that was absolutely bang out of order."