Manchester police shootings: how serious is grenade threat?
Chief warns officers that the ‘threat is still there’ days after two PCs die in gun and grenade attack
FOLLOWING the murder of two female PCs, Greater Manchester's police chief has warned that criminal gangs may use grenades against more officers.
The killing of PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes on Tuesday was the fourth attack in Manchester involving grenades in little over a month.
PC Bone, 32, had a police-issue Taser stun gun in her hand when she was shot, according to a new witness statement. PC Hughes, 23, is thought to have tried to run off to escape the gunman but had a grenade thrown at her before she too was shot. She later died in hospital.
Police are still questioning Dale Cregan, the one-eyed 29-year-old who walked into a police station shortly after the attack. A 28-year-old man has also been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
According to The Times, police are investigating whether the gun recovered from the scene came from a cache of more than 60 firearms smuggled into Manchester from the United States in 2010. The grenades, which sell for more than £1,000 each, are thought to have been made for military use in former Yugoslavia.
Yesterday, Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, admitted police are "not confident" that they have found all the grenades and said his officers had been warned that "the threat is still there".
It is thought that at least eight grenades are still on the streets of the city, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP and former Army officer, said:
"These grenades are readily available on the black market and easy to conceal on your person and use.
"We are seeing a move from explosives being used by terrorists to being used by criminal gangs, which is extremely alarming. It introduces a completely different dimension into protection for police officers. What would concern me is if this starts to be copied by other gangs and individuals."
However, a spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers told Channel 4 News: "The use of grenades or similar explosive devices in the UK on the mainland is unusual and we are not aware of any intelligence to suggest it is a growing problem." ·