Thank you for 33 years: GMP chief takes down memorials for fallen officers at old HQ, as police relocate to Newton Heath

By Dean Wilkins

After 33 years of housing Greater Manchester Police, the decommissioning of former headquarters Chester House begins today with the removal of plaques commemorating officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy paid tribute to the sacrifices officers made to their communities, as the transition to the force’s new base in Newton Heath continues.

Chester House, Trafford, was home to GMP for 33 years and is due to be closed down – but memorials to fallen comrades, including PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, will be maintained.

During the ceremony, Sir Peter paid tribute to not only his former colleagues, but also the work officers do to deal with tragic events that leave communities in shock – including yesterday’s street murder of Kieran Crump-Raiswell, and missing New Year’s Eve revellers Souvik Pal and Michael Simpson, whose body has since been found.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “Our thoughts go out to the families of Michael Simpson, whose body was found last week after he was reported missing on New Year’s Eve, and the family of the young man who was fatally stabbed in Old Trafford yesterday afternoon. We will find the person responsible for this crime.

“As a parent myself, I can understand that these families will feel that these young men were taken before their time, that they died when they had their whole future to look forward to.

“The parents and younger brother of Souvik Pal are also uppermost in our thoughts, as they are desperate to know what has happened to a promising young student who has not been seen since New Year’s Eve.

“We are committed to finding Souvik and ensuring we get to the bottom of what happened in Old Trafford.

“The majority of police officers are parents themselves, and they too would want to know that the police were doing everything that they could.

“It is in this spirit that we carry out all of our investigations, as we understand that the truth is perhaps the only comfort to tragedy.”

The new base at Central Park will be home to around 1,000 GMP officers and the £64million project opened in late 2011.

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