A man has been arrested for setting up a Facebook page hailing Dale Cregan as a ‘legend’, as the Manchester police murder suspect remains in custody.
The 22-year-old man, from Merseyside, was arrested by officers today after the ‘tribute’ page praised the shootings of PCs Nicola Hughes, 23, and Fiona Bone, 32, in Mottram, Hyde, within hours of their deaths.
Greater Manchester Police are continuing to quiz Cregan, 29, of Droylsden, in connection with the murders after he handed himself into police following a 39-day manhunt.
And despite many expressing concern about why two unarmed officers were sent to a ‘bogus burglary’ when armed police were on patrol, the Home Secretary supported GMP’s approach to the call.
“I’m clear that every resource that GMP needs should be made available to it and forces across the country have been giving support in the work that GMP are doing,” Theresa May said.
“I think we are clear we have a British model of policing that is one that our police very much support.
“I think that routine unarmed policing that goes on in our streets is right. I don’t think this is the time to be calling for the arming of police.”
The Facebook page hailed Cregan as a ‘hero’, and he allegedly shot dead the two female officers and then launched a grenade.
More than 35,000 online messages of support have been received by GMP, but another internet page was set up and titled ‘Dale Cregan OBE’.
Cregan remains in police custody and is yet to be charged for any involvement in Mark and David Short’s murders, as well as Miss Hughes’ and Miss Bone’s.
Detectives have until 9am tomorrow to keep him in custody.
A 28-year-old man who was arrested in Hattersley on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder also remains in police custody.
Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “In the 48 hours since the tragic death of our two officers, there has been a huge amount of support from the public through our website and on social media.
“Tuesday’s tragedy has touched many lives and brought together people who want to show solidarity and support to police officers working in Greater Manchester and around the country, showing the best that can come from social media and modern technology.
“However, there are also a small number of people who have posted malicious and upsetting comments online, causing outrage to many people and prompting them to ask us what we are doing to deal with these people.
“We take reports of this nature seriously as they can have a huge impact on people, demonstrated by the fact that police last night arrested a man in connection with an offensive Facebook page.
Last night a Facebook page was set up by members of the public and a Twitter hashtag started #coverforgmp with more than 2,700 people from forces around the country offering their time to allow GMP officers and staff to attend the funerals.
A 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder and a 28-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, in relation to the deaths of the two officers, remain in police custody for questioning.