Policewomen Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes were murdered in an act of "cold-blooded killing" after being lured into a trap, Greater Manchester Police said on Tuesday.

Chief constable Sir Peter Fahy, his voice shaking with emotion, told a press conference that Miss Bone, 32 and Miss Hughes, 23, were ambushed by one-eyed fugitive Dale Cregan, 29, who is said to have been wielding a gun and a grenade, after responding to a bogus burglary report in Tameside.

"It would appear Cregan has deliberately done this in an act of cold-blooded murder," he told journalists, adding it was "impossible to fathom such an evil act."

nicola hughes and fiona bone

32-year-old Fiona Bone and 23-year-old Nicola Hughes were killed after they responded to reports of a burglary

Sir Peter, speaking at a sombre press conference at GMP headquarters, said: "Clearly we are devastated today by the loss of two of our officers.

"This is one of the darkest days in the history of the Greater Manchester Police if not for the police service overall, because we have lost two deeply loved and valued colleagues, because they are part of our team. Policing is very much a family.

"But also because of the huge efforts that officers had been making to arrest and detain Dale Cregan. Obviously the officers involved in that inquiry are shattered by this outcome."

The Chief Constable said it was routine to send unarmed officers to a burglary call.

"We believe that Dale Cregan was in a house in Abbey Gardens overnight, and at some point this morning has either himself made a call or had somebody else make a call reporting a burglary," Sir Peter said.

"This particular address was not known to us. So as would be routine, two unarmed officers were sent to the scene.

"When they arrived, it appears that Cregan emerged into the road and killed these two officers. A firearm was used, a grenade was also used."

manchester killings

A bomb disposal unit was seen outside the police station where Cregan handed himself in


Asked if the grenade was thrown directly at the two police officers, Sir Peter said: "Certainly we believe the grenade was thrown at the officers but we have not been able to be specific about the injuries the officers suffered or how they died."

Sir Peter said he believed Cregan had been "protected by a criminal conspiracy to harbour him", adding that the force was "fully determined" to investigate that conspiracy and bring those involved "to book".

Two people from the house in Hattersley, a man and a woman, were helping police with inquiries.

Sir Peter paid tribute to the police officers for showing "courage" and "bravery." He said Miss Bone had been planning her wedding and Miss Hughes was a "chatterbox" and a "great bobby" who was "always smiling".

David Cameron described the killings were "an act of shocking evil by an appalling individual."

"What we have seen is the absolutely despicable act of pure evil," the prime minister said.

dale cregan

The scene of the incident in Greater Manchester


"The cold blooded murder of two female police officers doing their job out there protecting the public; another reminder of the incredible risks and great work our police service does.

"My thoughts and I think the thoughts of the whole country will be with their families at this impossibly difficult time."

Asked if the killings would reopen the debate on arming police, Mr Cameron replied: "Well it certainly reminds us, it's a shocking reminder of what the police do on our behalf.

"There are more armed police officers, there are more armed response units. But this was supposed to be the response to a domestic burglary and that wouldn't normally require armed officers.

"So there's no sign that anything wrong was done, the only thing there was was an act of shocking evil by this appalling individual who has taken the lives of two women police officers who were doing their duty."

manchester killings

A body bag outside the scene where the two officers were shot dead


Sir Peter said he believed Cregan had been "protected by a criminal conspiracy to harbour him", adding that the force was "fully determined" to investigate that conspiracy and bring those involved "to book".

He said he was not aware that Cregan had contacted police at any time during their manhunt or made any threats to police officers.

But he added that police had been looking at a range of scenarios including Cregan trying to kill other people as a result of the gangland feud he was involved in.


Great Manchester Police's Garry Shewan reads a statement about the death of the first policewoman

And he said there was "concern" that he might target police officers.

Sir Peter said their deaths would not change the law surrounding armed police saying: "We are a police force that is routinely unarmed. We are passionate that the British style of policing is unarmed."

Greater Manchester Police's Ian Hanson said he was "struggling to find the words", saying: "This is cold blooded murder. This is slaughter of the innocent. "



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  • Manchester shootings

    Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Dale Cregan at Manchester Crown Court where he is accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • BRITAIN-POLICE-CRIME-SHOOTING

    A British armed police unit secures the area as he waits for the police van believed to be transporting Dale Cregan, the man charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack, to leave Manchester magistrates court in Manchester, north-west England on September 21, 2012. Female police officers Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were killed as they responded to what they thought was a routine burglary call in Tameside, Greater Manchester, northwestern England, on September 18. Cregan, who is also accused of killing father and son David and Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year, has been charged with four counts of murder, Greater Manchester Police said. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • BRITAIN-POLICE-CRIME-SHOOTING

    The police van believed to be transporting Dale Cregan, the man charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack, leaves Manchester magistrates court in Manchester, north-west England on September 21, 2012. Female police officers Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were killed as they responded to what they thought was a routine burglary call in Tameside, Greater Manchester, northwestern England, on September 18. Cregan, who is also accused of killing father and son David and Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year, has been charged with four counts of murder, Greater Manchester Police said. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • BRITAIN-POLICE-CRIME-SHOOTING

    The police van believed to be transporting suspect Dale Cregan, the man charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack, leaves Manchester magistrates court in Manchester, north-west England on September 21, 2012. Female police officers Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, were killed as they responded to what they thought was a routine burglary call in Tameside, Greater Manchester, northwestern England, on September 18. Cregan, who is also accused of killing father and son David and Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year, has been charged with four counts of murder, Greater Manchester Police said. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Manchester shootings

    A police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan leaves Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where he appeared accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • Manchester shootings

    Armed police on the streets as a police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan (not pictured) leaves Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where he appeared accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • Manchester shootings

    A police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan arrives at HMP Manchester Prison, Manchester, after he appeared at Manchester Crown Court accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • Manchester shootings

    Armed police stand guard as a police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan (not pictured) arrives at HMP Manchester Prison, Manchester, after he appeared at Manchester Crown Court accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • Manchester shootings

    Armed police stand guard as a police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan (not pictured) arrives at HMP Manchester Prison, Manchester, after he appeared at Manchester Crown Court accused of four murders including the shooting and grenade attack that killed two policewomen.

  • Dale Cregan Appears At Manchester City Magistrates' Court To Face Murder Charges

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer stands guard as Dale Cregan arrives in an armed convoy to face charges of murder and attempted murder at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on September 21, 2012 in Manchester, England. Dale Cregan, 29, stands accused of four murders, including PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone on September 18, and also in two separate attacks earlier this year of Mark Short and his father David Short. Cregan is also being charged with an additional four counts of attempted murder. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Dale Cregan Appears At Manchester City Magistrates' Court To Face Murder Charges

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers stand guard as Dale Cregan arrives in an armed convoy to face charges of murder and attempted murder at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on September 21, 2012 in Manchester, England. Dale Cregan, 29, stands accused of four murders, including PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone on September 18, and also in two separate attacks earlier this year of Mark Short and his father David Short. Cregan is also being charged with an additional four counts of attempted murder. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Dale Cregan Appears At Manchester City Magistrates' Court To Face Murder Charges

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: A police officer stands guard as Dale Cregan arrives in an armed convoy to face charges of murder and attempted murder at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on September 21, 2012 in Manchester, England. Dale Cregan, 29, stands accused of four murders, including PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone on September 18, and also in two separate attacks earlier this year of Mark Short and his father David Short. Cregan is also being charged with an additional four counts of attempted murder. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Dale Cregan Appears At Manchester City Magistrates' Court To Face Murder Charges

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: Police officers stand guard as Dale Cregan arrives in an armed convoy to face charges of murder and attempted murder at Manchester City Magistrates' Court on September 21, 2012 in Manchester, England. Dale Cregan, 29, stands accused of four murders, including PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone on September 18, and also in two separate attacks earlier this year of Mark Short and his father David Short. Cregan is also being charged with an additional four counts of attempted murder. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Manchester shootings

    A police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan arrives at Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where he will appear charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

  • Manchester shootings

    An armed police officer guards the streets near Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where Dale Cregan will appear charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

  • Manchester shootings

    An armed police officer guards the streets near Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where Dale Cregan will appear charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

  • Manchester shootings

    A police van believed to be carrying Dale Cregan arrives at Manchester Magistrates Court, Manchester, where he will appear charged with the murders of two police officers in a gun and grenade attack.

  • Police Officers Killed While Responding To Burglary Call In Manchester

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Candles burn in remembrance of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone during a service at Saint Barnabas Church, Hattersley on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. Local man Dale Cregan, 29, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am yesterday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Police Officers Killed While Responding To Burglary Call In Manchester

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Candles burn in remembrance of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone during a service at Saint Barnabas Church, Hattersley on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. Local man Dale Cregan, 29, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am yesterday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Police Officers Killed While Responding To Burglary Call In Manchester

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Reverends Lesley Harding and James Halstead conduct a service of remembrance for WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone at Saint Barnabas Church, Hattersley on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. Local man Dale Cregan, 29, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am yesterday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Police Officers Killed While Responding To Burglary Call In Manchester

    MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Members of the public bring floral tributes in memory of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone in Hattersley on September 19, 2012 in Manchester, England. Local man Dale Cregan, 29, has been arrested in connection with the shooting of WPC's Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am yesterday. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-POLICE-CRIME-SHOOTING

    Flowers are left at the headquaters of Greater Manchester Police in Manchester, northwest England, to pay respect to two female police officers who were killed while responding to a call out to the Hattersley Estate in Mottram in Greater Manchester. A top British policeman warned on September 19 against rushing into any move to routinely arm officers after two unarmed policewomen were killed in a gun and grenade attack. Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, died after going to investigate a reported robbery on September 18. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • BRITAIN-POLICE-CRIME-SHOOTING

    Flowers are left at the headquaters of Greater Manchester Police in Manchester, northwest England, to pay respect to two female police officers who were killed while responding to a call out to the Hattersley Estate in Mottram in Greater Manchester. A top British policeman warned on September 19 against rushing into any move to routinely arm officers after two unarmed policewomen were killed in a gun and grenade attack. Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, died after going to investigate a reported robbery on September 18. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Manchester shootings

    Police forensic officers search the scene of a shooting in Hattersley, Greater Manchester, as two unarmed female police officers have died after attending a "routine incident" which led to the arrest of one of the country's most wanted men.

  • Manchester shootings

    Forensic officers at the scene close to where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    A Greater Manchester Police officer lays flowers at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    A Greater Manchester Police officer lays flowers at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Greater Manchester Police officers observe a minute's silence near to the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Amy (surname not given) leaves a floral tribute at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Amy (surname not given) leaves a floral tribute at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • PC Nicola Hughes killed in Manchester

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • PC Fiona Bone killed in Manchester

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.

  • Manchester shootings

    Floral tributes at the scene where police constables Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, where killed in Hattersley, Greater Manchester.