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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Cumbria cops help colleagues after deaths of officers

FURNESS police have been helping to relieve the strain on their colleagues in Manchester following the deaths of two police officers.

PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone died on Tuesday when they were attacked with a gun and a grenade.

Officers from Barrow police worked shifts in Greater Manchester this week as the large-scale investigation got under way.

Yesterday, more than 2,000 police officers from around the country had volunteered to cover shifts in Greater Manchester so GMP staff can attend the funerals – dates for which have not yet been set.

Barrow sergeant Andy Travis was among police who joined the Twitter campaign #CoverForGMP and tweeted: “Custody/response Sgt in Cumbria, originally from GMP area, honoured to cover if requested.”

Barrow Streetsafe tweeted: “Just ask and we will be there, anything to help you out – Npt PC in south Cumbria.”

Sgt Travis, who grew up in Bolton and has friends and family in Manchester, said it was for Cumbria police to decide if officers could cover, should GMP make the request.

But he said: “It’s hard to explain, but we, as police in Cumbria, are part of the police family – I think all officers have been affected.

“I was certainly shocked, as were my colleagues, as the news came through.

“It’s just my personal little way of being able to do something as a sign of respect for my colleagues in Manchester so they can attend the funerals.

“It’s just a little sign of solidarity.’’

PCs Hughes and Bone had been sent to investigate a reported burglary in Hattersley when they were shot.

Sgt Travis said it highlighted the fact no police call-out is ever “routine”.

He said: “We go to incidents all the time not knowing what we’re going to face when we get there, it’s always different.

“It’s quite different policing in Barrow, but it has its own risks working in Cumbria and you can turn up to an incident that can very quickly escalate into something different to what you went to.”

A Cumbria police spokeswoman said: “Cumbria Constabulary has deployed police officers to Greater Manchester Police to help our colleagues there following this week’s tragedy.

“The officers are from a variety of roles and volunteered their services.

“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with the families, friends and colleagues of PC Bone and PC Hughes”.

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