Second arrest over police killings

Wed, Sep 19, 2012, 01:00

A second man has been arrested in connection with the deaths of two unarmed British policewomen in a grenade and gun attack in Greater Manchester yesterday.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said a 28-year-old man was detained in Hattersley on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Dale Cregan (29) who was one of the most wanted men in the UK, is also being questioned over the officers’ deaths and the killings of father and son David and Mark Short.

Earlier, calls to routinely arm British police following the killing of Nicola Hughes (23) and Fiona Bone (32) were rejected by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who warned against any knee-jerk response to the tragedy.

Mr Clegg said the move would carry “considerable risks” and could damage relations between police and the communities they serve.

The president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, Sir Hugh Orde, also spoke out against any potential change, saying guns “don’t necessarily solve the problem”.

But the widower of murdered police constable Sharon Beshenivsky said officers should carry firearms so they were prepared for any situation they found themselves in.

Mr Clegg said the policewomen's deaths were a “heartbreaking reminder” of the “courage, the bravery and professionalism that police officers show up and down the country every day of every week of every month of every year”.

But he told reporters in central London: “I don’t think this is the time to rush to instant judgments, this really is a time for mourning and support, of course, for the family and friends of the two women who have been killed.

“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.

“I think if we were, in an instant, to, in a sense, arm our police to the teeth so they become separate from the public, that would be quite a big change which would have considerable risks attached to it."

Sir Hugh told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was the “clear view of the British police service from top to bottom” that officers prefer to be unarmed because the public dislike approaching constables bearing weapons.

He added: “Guns don’t necessarily solve the problem. You only have to look at the American experience.

“Many colleagues in America are lost without even drawing their gun at close ranges.”

But Paul Beshenivsky, whose wife was shot dead in Bradford during an armed robbery in 2005, told ITV News: “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.

“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’.”


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