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Man arrested in connection with offensive Facebook page
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A man has been arrested in connection with an offensive Facebook page set up following the deaths of two officers in Manchester.

PC Nicola Hughes, aged 23 and PC Fiona Bone, aged 32 were killed as they responded to a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley shortly before 11am on Tuesday 18 September 2012.

Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police received reports of an offensive Facebook page that had been set up following the murders of the two officers on Tuesday.

An investigation was launched by both Forces to identify the creator of the page.

Late last night, Merseyside Police arrested a 22-year-old man from Netherley on suspicion of committing an offence under the Communications Act 2003. The man remains in police custody in Merseyside for questioning at this time.

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.

"There are now more than 33,500 messages of condolence posted on our online condolence page and I would like to thank the public once again for the overwhelming support they have shown us at this extremely difficult time."

The overwhelming message on social media remains one of support. 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.

A book of condolence is available online at www.gmp.police.uk for anyone who wishes to leave messages for the two officers.

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