Thousands in moving tribute to murdered Pc Fiona Bone
Thousands of police officers and members of the public yesterday lined the streets of Manchester to say farewell to Pc Fiona Bone.
Pc Bone, who grew up in Castle Donington, and her colleague Pc Nicola Hughes died in a grenade and gun attack while attending an apparently routine job in Tameside, Greater Manchester, last month.
Police officers from across the country, including representatives from Leicestershire, stood along the route as Pc Bone's funeral cortege made its way to the city's cathedral.
Six horses from Greater Manchester Police's mounted section led the cortege, followed by the hearse.
On top of the coffin, which was shrouded in black cloth, was Pc Bone's hat and gloves and the Queen's Jubilee medal. Officers and the public bowed their heads as the cortege passed and applause broke out along the route.
The scenes mirrored those of the previous day, when the cathedral hosted Pc Hughes' funeral service.
Senior representatives from all 43 forces in England and Wales – including Leicestershire's deputy chief constable Simon Edens – joined Pc Bone's family, friends and colleagues inside Manchester Cathedral.
Mr Edens said: "One of the most powerful moments was when the funeral cortege came past and members of the public broke into spontaneous applause.
"They were standing shoulder to shoulder with police officers from across the UK. It was very touching.
"My role was to represent Leicestershire Police and I was very proud to be able to do so.
"Hopefully, through me, the thousands of men and women of Leicestershire Police can say they have expressed their sympathy and sorrow at what happened to their two colleagues."
Mr Edens was accompanied by two Leicestershire officers who helped police the streets around the cathedral while also paying their respects to their fallen colleagues.
A minute's silence was observed in all police stations across Leicestershire and the rest of the country to coincide with the funerals.
A small number of Leicestershire officers also travelled to Manchester on Wednesday on their days off to pay their respects. Sgt Danny Graham, of Leicester's Spinney Hill Park police station, was among the officers lining the route to the cathedral.
He said: "I just knew I wanted to be there, it was instinctive.
"The street was lined with police officers, paramedics and other members of the emergency services, as well as members of the public. It was busy but you could hear a pin drop.
"It was an important show of solidarity and I am sure both officers' families appreciated that."
Yesterday's service, which was relayed to the thousands of people outside the cathedral, heard that Pc Bone was planning to marry her partner, Clare Curran.
One of her colleagues, Sgt Stephen Miskell, told the congregation: "Fiona represented the best that humanity has to offer the world but that makes her loss even greater."
Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, said: "It is clear that helping people and building community spirit was at the heart of what she did."
He said she received a chief superintendent's commendation in 2009 for her outstanding contribution in an investigation into a series of burglaries and robberies which secured convictions. "Fiona treated everyone with dignity, compassion and respect whatever their background," Sir Peter said.