In the days since the tragic deaths of our colleagues Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes we have been overwhelmed with messages of condolence and offers to provide whatever support we need. It is incredibly moving to see how Fiona and Nicola have touched so many lives and I know that their families have taken great comfort from these messages.
We are working closely with Fiona and Nicola’s families to ensure they are able to give them the tribute that they deserve. Our priority continues to be ensuring that their wishes are carried out next week.
The response through the Cover for GMP movement has been incredible and something that we have never seen before.
We are keen to bring colleagues in from other forces to work with us and help us through the difficult days next week. To achieve this we have asked PNICC ( Police National Information Co-ordination Centre) to act as a co-ordinating point and forces will be asked to identify two officers who have the relevant training and can come to Greater Manchester next week and provide support.
Other officers who wish to come to Greater Manchester to pay tribute to Fiona and Nicola can help to line the route to Manchester Cathedral along Deansgate.
Many people outside of the police service have also wanted to provide us with support which is incredibly touching. And while we honour the memories of our two brave colleagues we would also ask people to recognise the work that takes place by police officers every day in communities across the UK.
This is the job that Fiona and Nicola loved doing. It is the job they were doing on Tuesday 18 September – protecting people. While we are not able to accept all the kind offers of support that we have received it would be a fitting tribute to our two colleagues if people directed their kind offers of support to their local officers wherever they may be. Finding their own way to recognise the contribution they make.
People can still sign the online book of condolence or make donations. The Police Federation are also organising wristbands in remembrance of Fiona and Nicola with the proceeds being provided to the families.
On behalf of the families of Fiona and Nicola, their colleagues and the whole of GMP, I want to thank everyone for their kind messages and offers of support. The response to the terrible events last week have been a great source of comfort to the families, friends and colleagues in fact to the whole of GMP. So thank you and I hope that you are able to find a way to join with us to remember Fiona and Nicola next week.