A BRAVE young police officer from Diggle who was killed while on active duty has been honoured with a memorial stone in Tameside.
PC Nicola Hughes was 23 years old when she was murdered in a gun and grenade attack by Dale Cregan in September 2012 while serving alongside PC Fiona Bone.
A memorial stone for the two officers was unveiled by former Prime Minister David Cameron at a special ceremony last month – the 39th erected by the Police Memorial Trust.
The unveiling was also attended by Geraldine Winner, chairman of the Police Memorial Trust founded by her husband Michael, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, the families of both officers and their police colleagues together with the local MP and other dignitaries.
Greater Manchester Police Band played, followed by speeches and the unveiling of the memorial.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins from Greater Manchester Police said: “None of us will forget the morning when PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes were brutally murdered doing the job they both loved so passionately.
“For their families and those who knew and loved them, their loss still feels as great today as it did then.
“I would like to thank the Police Memorial Trust for honouring Fiona and Nicola with this memorial.
“I know these two brave officers will never be forgotten, but this memorial will act as a permanent reminder of the enormous sacrifice they made.
“I hope it will be a place where people can pay their respects, but also remember the love, happiness and care they gave to those fortunate enough to have been touched by their all too short lives.”
In memory of their daughter, both Nicola’s mother and father have set up charities on taken on different fundraising feats.
Mum Sue has set up Chasing Rainbows, which recently donated £8,000 to the North West Police Benevolent Fund and The Fire Fighters Charity after her fundraising events.
And Dad Bryn has launched The PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund to raise funds and provide learning opportunities and services to children who have suffered a tragic loss of a close family member through a violent crime such as murder or manslaughter.
This November, GMP officers are to take part in New York marathon in aid of the charity.
PCs Jenni Harlow-Smith and Stuart Rostron have teamed up with fellow colleagues to take on the 26-mile race in November and raise money.
PC Harlow-Smith said: “Nicola and Fiona were responding to a routine police incident, something that Stu and I do daily. The feeling between everyone was that it could easily have been us.”
They will be joined by fellow GMP colleagues as well as other officers from police forces across the country, all in aid of the PC Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund.
Anyone wishing to sponsor Jenni and Stu can do so via their fund raising webpage at www.justgiving.com/jenniandstu or by texting ‘JHSR99 £(amount you wish to donate)’ to 70070.
The Police Memorial Trust is a registered charity which has received donations from Prime Ministers, Home Secretaries, media barons and movie stars as well as hundreds of people who wish to help. Find out more online: www.policememorial.org.uk