The murder of policewomen Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes has led to increasing calls for officers to be armed as routine - despite senior officers saying the move would not help.

Paul Beshenivsky, the widower of murdered police constable Sharon Beshenivsky, has become the latest to call for the routine arming of officers.

Mr Beshenivsky, whose 38-year-old wife was gunned down in Bradford seven years ago, told ITV: "You can't have armed response at every situation, but I think, as an officer being armed, walk into a situation, feeling more comfortable, walking into that situation, thinking, 'I could respond to that situation'."

His comments echo those made by the son and twin brother of police officer David Rathband, who was shot and blinded by fugitive Raul Moat.

greater manchester police

Police lay flowers at the scene where two female officers were killed


"How many officers need to die before the powers realise that it is the 21st century and you cannot fight crime with an outdated piece of plastic and a bit of spray," Rathband's brother Darren said on Tuesday.

paul beshenivsky

Paul Beshenivsky said it was hard to believe such a tragedy had happened again

The debate kicked off as it emerged Cregan has been arrested and released on bail by police in June.

The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, has said his force believed "passionately" that police should remain unarmed, despite the tragedy.

"We are passionate that the British style of policing is routinely unarmed policing. Sadly we know from the experience in America and other countries, that having armed officers certainly does not mean, sadly, that police officers do not end up getting shot," he told journalists.

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Mr Beshenivsky told ITV News at Ten that the incident in Manchester, where two female unarmed officers are thought to have been lured to their death by a bogus 999 call before being killed in a gun and grenade attack, should "open the public's eyes".

"I think policing, as regarding going to scenes of crimes, should be monitored better, and I think police, in honesty, should be armed, walking into situations that they're not totally aware of."

shootings of policewoman

Police forensic officers at the crime scene where two of their colleagues were murdered


Mother-of-three Pc Beshenivsky, 38, was gunned down in Bradford in November 2005 during a botched travel agent robbery.

Her colleague, Pc Teresa Milburn, was wounded.

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

Michael Winner, film director and founder of the Police Memorial Trust, said it was "ridiculous" police were not armed as routine.

“I cannot understand it when in all other countries police are armed to fight what is clearly a different situation today. It is ridiculous.”


Ash Rathband
It's time for Police to be armed in my opinion. Yet again another awful incident :-(

Pc David Rathband's son tweeted that he believed officers should be armed

In response to the calls the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, said guns "don't necessarily solve" problems police face.

"You only have to look at the American experience. Many colleagues in America are lost without even drawing their gun at close ranges."

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme policing is "a risk business", adding: "As we speak, officers will be responding to calls not knowing what they will get to and not knowing exactly what they will be dealing with when they arrive."

Nick Clegg has said there would be "considerable risks" to routinely arming officers and it could damage the relationship between the police and the communities they serve.

"We have a long tradition in this country, which is a great tradition, of policing in the community, of the police being part of the public and the public supporting and giving their consent to the police."

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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.