Leicestershire police offer help for grieving colleagues after deaths of Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes
Police officers have volunteered to travel to Manchester to enable colleagues to attend two murdered constables' funerals.
Thousands of officers, including a group from Leicestershire, said they would give up a day off to carry out routine duties while officers there paid tribute to 32-year-old Pc Fiona Bone and Pc Nicola Hughes.
Pc Bone, who grew up in Castle Donington, and 23-year-old Pc Hughes died in a gun and grenade attack in Tameside, Greater Manchester, on Tuesday.
Senior officers believe they had been lured into a trap by a caller who claimed to have been burgled.
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An appeal for volunteers was made by an anonymous officer on Twitter on Wednesday.
Within 24 hours, more than 2,700 officers across the UK had offered their services.
Sgt Danny Graham, of Leicester's Spinney Hill Park station, was among them.
Sgt Graham said: "This is a comradely thing to do and thousands of officers have said they would go there on their rest days to enable officers to attend the funerals.
"Even if we were only required for a few hours, we would be able to help them keep the wheels rolling up there.
"There's a very strong feeling that this is something rank-and-file officers can do to reflect the way police officers are feeling."
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: "We would like to express our gratitude for the gesture from police officers across the country.
"We have been overwhelmed but we cannot say at the moment whether or not it can happen logistically."
Pc Bone's parents, June and Paul, and sister, Vicky, released a joint statement. They said she was planning to marry her partner, Clare, who has a daughter, Jessie, from a previous relationship.
The family, who live on the Isle of Man, described Pc Bone as "a wonderful daughter, sister, partner and parent to Jessie".
"She was planning her marriage to Clare and this joy has been taken from us," they said.
"May I take this opportunity to thank officers from both Greater Manchester Police and the Isle of Man Police for their help and assistance at this time.
"Our thoughts are with Nicola's family, along with Fiona and Nicola's fellow officers at Tameside police station."
An online book of condolence has been opened and had attracted more than 25,000 messages from well-wishers last night.
Greater Manchester Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "We have been touched by the many thousands of messages of support that we have received from the public, who are as shocked as we are following the tragic deaths of our two officers."
Dale Cregan, 29, was last night charged with the murders of the two police officers and father and son David and Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year. He also faces four charges of attempted murder.
Related article: Dale Cregan charged with killings