Police officers from Norfolk will be among thousands from across the country who will play a part in ensuring colleagues in Manchester can attend the funeral of two PCs killed in a gun and grenade attack.

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The services for PC Nicola Hughes and PC Fiona Bone, who died in an attack in Hattersley last month, take place at Manchester Cathedral today and tomorrow.

PC Chris Kay and PC David Reed, response officers based at Thetford, will be helping to control crowds outside the cathedral and ensure the hearse can arrive safely.

The Norfolk PCs were among thousands from across the country who offered to cover the duties of Manchester colleagues so they could attend following a social network campaign, with the hashtag of #coverforgmp.

PC Kay, who arrived in Manchester last night, said he and PC Reed were honoured to be paying their respects on behalf of Norfolk Constabulary and the wider policing family at the funerals.

He said: “It’s a hard time for Greater Manchester Police at the moment and we’re happy to give them the support and it’s an honour to do that.”

“It could happen anywhere and it just brings it back to reality; it could happen to any one of us at the end of the day but we’re all there together and that’s why we wanted to come.

“Also for the families of the fallen colleagues as well, just to show we’re all there, all thinking of them, paying our respects and doing our duty.”

PC Kay said he and PC Reed approached the Norfolk Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers in the county, about attending after following the #coverforgmp campaign.

Paul Ridgway, chairman, said: “We’ve got several officers who are going up in their own time to police the cathedral. We also have a number of officers who are going up in their own time to line the route. The incidents of a couple of weeks ago have touched Norfolk officers as much as they have other officers around the country and Norfolk officers are proud to do their bit to ensure that the officers get the send off that they deserve.”

Dale Cregan, 29, has been charged with the officers’ murders, along with those of two other men.

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