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Fiona Bone And Nicola Hughes Murder Prompts Calls For All Police To Carry Guns

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

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many officers need to die before the powers realise that it is the 21st century and you cannot fight crime with an outdated piece of plastic and a bit of spray," Rathband's brother Darren said on Tuesday.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