The killing of two policewomen were “savage acts of pure brutality” Home Secretary Theresa May said last night.
Mrs May cut short her holiday to travel back to the UK to visit the force HQ of Greater Manchester Police where she was given a two-hour briefing by senior officers.
Speaking from GMP’s HQ, the Home Secretary said: “The murders of Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes were savage acts of pure brutality. They have left grieving families and devastated Greater Manchester Police force.
“These were brave and talented officers who were going about their everyday duties, doing what they do, day in, day out, protecting the public, fighting crime and they were incredibly brave and their deaths are a reminder of what police officers face every day.”
It followed a minute’s silence helds as the clock struck 11am yesterday. All police activity around the murder scene came to a halt and a hush descended.
Officers, the forensics team and the waiting media gathered around the cordon to observe the tribute.
Some officers bowed their heads while others remained bolt upright in sombre thought.
Condolences were also posted on a Greater Manchester Police message boards.
Tom McGhie, former chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, wrote: “My experiences when I was the chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation at the time that Ian Broadhurst and Sharon Beshenivsky were murdered will live with me for ever.
“Their sacrifice and those of your colleagues murdered today will never be forgotten.
“My thoughts and heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.”
Nick Addis, from West Midlands Police, wrote: “Absolute tragedy. Thoughts are with the families. RIP both of you. No force boundaries today, one united family.”
While Detective Constable Jeff Wheble, from Thames Valley Police, said: “Our thoughts are with you all in GMP and with the families and friends of Fiona and Nicola. Two bobbies just doing their job have made the ultimate sacrifice, but your police brothers and sisters will never forget you.
“Rest in peace, girls. From all of us at Cowley.”
Other messages came from forces including West Yorkshire, Lancashire, Metropolitan, Fife, Warwickshire, Northumbria, Merseyside, and Dyfed-Powys.
Greater Manchester Police said: “GMP continues to thank the public for their many heartfelt messages of condolence.”