PCs Hughes and Bone among National Police Memorial Day honoured

Petals fell during the service, while the names of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were read out alongside those of their colleagues

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Two police officers shot dead in Greater Manchester are among those who have been remembered at a memorial service for officers killed on duty.

Special dedications for PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were read at the York Minster service.

The two officers died in a grenade and gun attack while responding to a call-out in Mottram earlier this month.

The annual National Police Memorial Day service pays tribute to officers killed on duty throughout the UK.

More than 2,000 people attended Sunday's service, including 40 chief constables, other serving officers and the relatives of those who have died.

'Bravest of the brave'

The names of all the officers who had died this year were read out at the service.

Petals were dropped from above inside the cathedral and the hymn Abide With Me and The Last Post were played.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who gave the address, described those officers who had given their lives as "the bravest of the brave".

Home Secretary Theresa May read a prayer during the service as did Emma Barker, the young daughter of PC Bill Barker who died when a bridge was washed away during floods in Workington, Cumbria, in 2009.

Police officers show emotion at memorial service in York The service was an emotional occasion for the police officers in attendance

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said, as he arrived at the service: "It does give it a special poignancy because it's close after the deaths of Fiona and Nicola, but the important thing today really is remembering all the officers who have given their lives during the year.

"I cannot tell you how much we have been uplifted by the public response, it has been quite extraordinary. It really does show the level of support for ordinary officers going about their day-to-day business."

Police Federation chairman Paul McKeever said: "It's a chance for us to get together as a police family and bond and say we remember those who are no longer with us. That's very important to us."

Earlier, delegates at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester held a minute's silence in honour of the two officers.

Mottram's MP Jonathan Reynolds, speaking about the deaths of the two police officers, told the conference: "It serves as an all-too-dreadful reminder of the danger that our policemen and women face in every force, on every day, every time they get called out."

Intervened in dispute

During the modern policing era, which stretches back over 180 years, more than 4,000 officers have been killed in the line of duty.

A total of seven have died this year - among them PC Ian Dibell, from Essex Police, who was shot dead in July while intervening in a dispute in Clacton. He was off-duty at the time.

Police deaths on duty

  • Earliest death recorded in police roll of honour is of an unnamed constable killed quelling a brawl in 1680
  • Seven officers added to roll in 2012
  • An average of 10 to 15 officers killed each year
  • Roll of honour compiled after more than 30 years of research

Also remembered was PC David Rathband, who died in February. He was left blind after being shot in the face by fugitive Raoul Moat while sitting in his patrol car on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne, in July 2010.

Det Con Andrew Stokes, of Greater Manchester Police, died of a heart attack while on duty in January, at the age of 46.

Det Con Karen Paterson, who was 43, was killed in a road accident as she travelled to work at Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough in January.

And in April, Insp Preston Gurr, of the Metropolitan Police, was killed while on his way home from a shift on his motorcycle. He was 53 and had two children.

'Pay tribute'

The first National Police Memorial Day service took place at St Paul's Cathedral in 2004 and it has since been held in Cardiff, Belfast, Liverpool and Glasgow.

The event was founded by Sgt Joe Holness, of Kent Police, in response to the killing in 2000 of PC Jon Odell who was fatally wounded when a car hit him as he carried out traffic checks.

PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes who were killed in an attack in Mottram The funerals of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes are due to be held on Wednesday and Thursday

Sgt Holness said: "This annual memorial was long overdue when we set it up. Since 1792 officers have been giving their lives in order to protect the community, and we felt that it was time to pay tribute to them in the same way members of the armed forces honour their fallen colleagues.

"It is only right and proper that when someone gives their life in this way, we recognise them."

The funeral of PC Nicola Hughes is due to be held on Wednesday, while that of PC Fiona Bone takes place on Thursday.

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with their murder, and the murders of two men. The case at Manchester Crown Court has been adjourned until November.

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