Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Risks of Policing and the Compensation Culture

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Risks of Policing and the Compensation Culture

Article excerpt

LET me recall some memorable words spoken last October on a sunny day which forced us to remember dark deeds.

It was the funeral of PC Nicola Hughes at Manchester Cathedral, followed the next day by the funeral of PC Fiona Bone, both shot dead as they answered a bogus report of a burglary in Mottram.

"Nicola and Fiona knew that the police service has exactly the same expectations of male officers and female officers, indeed that was probably what attracted them both to this vocation," said Greater Manchester Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy in his eulogy.

"Nicola signed up to the police service knowing that she would be putting herself in danger."

A colleague of the two officers, Sgt Steve Miskell, recalled an occasion when Nicola and Fiona had intervened in a pub fight.

"When I caught up with Nicola and Fiona in the pub, the scene was one of total pandemonium, what could only be described as a riot," said Sgt Miskell.

"They had forced their way between the two factions and were moving someone with a head injury out of harm's way.

"I checked Nicola's expression and there was no fear."

We all knock police for the little stuff, but when it comes to the big stuff, honestly, who'd want that job? Anyone who was in Manchester that day, saw police officers from all over the country forming a guard of honour the length of Deansgate, and joined the massed ranks in the overspill congregation outside the cathedral as Barber's Adagio for Strings washed over us in the autumn sunshine, could not fail to appreciate the comradeship and courage of this nation's police.

It could have been any one of them suffering the fate which befell Nicola and Fiona.

All 43 chief constables from England and Wales were in Manchester Cathedral.

One of them, Phil Gormley, Chief Constable of Norfolk, had said days earlier that the deaths of these two officers, "really brought into sharp focus what policing is about". …

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