Manchester, England – Two unarmed female police officers were killed in a strange gun and grenade attack , reopening the debate on the arming of the British police. Dale Gregan, a 29-year-old man wanted for two previous murders, was arrested in connection with the killings after turning himself in at a police station in Greater Manchester.
Police said that the suspect made a bogus burglary report, luring officers Fiona Bone, 32, and Nicola Hughes, 23, to their deaths when they went to check what they thought was a routine incident. “When they arrived it appears then that Cregan emerged into the road and killed these two officers. A firearm was used and grenade was also used,” Chief Constable Fahy said.
PC Bone died at the scene while PC Hughes died a short time later, reports the Herald Sun. “It would appear Cregan has deliberately done this in an act of cold-blooded murder,” Fahy added.
According to the Telegraph, Cregan was already being hunted by police for the murders of David Short, 46, and his 23-year old son Mark Short in separate incidents earlier this year. The elder Short was killed in a gun and grenade attack in August, whilst Short the younger was shot to death in a pub in May. “This case tells us something about the nature of organized crime, the web of intimidation,” Chief Constable Fahy said, adding that he believed Cregan had been protected by a “criminal conspiracy.”
The incident has reopened the debate on whether or not to arm British police officers. “We are passionate that the British style of policing is routinely unarmed policing,” said Chief Constable Fahy. “Sadly we know the experience in America and other countries that having armed officers certainly does not mean that other police officers do not end up getting shot dead.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron somewhat agreed with Fahy’s sentiments.
“There are more armed police officers, there are more armed response units. But this was supposed to be the response to a domestic burglary and that wouldn’t normally require armed officers.”
Currently, little is known regarding Dale Cregan’s alleged ties to organized crime, his motives, or his reasons for turning himself in.