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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 April, 2005, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
Officer 'should get George Cross'
Det Con Stephen Oake
Det Con Stephen Oake was "exceptionally brave"
Murdered detective Stephen Oake should be given Britain's highest civilian honour, the George Cross, the Police Federation has said.

Det Con Oake was stabbed to death by terrorist Kamel Bourgass in a flat in Manchester during a raid in 2003.

Paul Kelly, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation, said: "Stephen knew he was putting his life on the line. He deserves recognition."

The force refused to say if it had put Det Con Oake forward for the award.

He knew he was putting his life on the line
Paul Kelly, Chairman of Greater Manchester Police Federation

The Chief Constable is believed to have recommended the heroic officer should become the first policeman to receive the award in 29 years, the Daily Mail newspaper said on Saturday.

The George Cross is the highest civilian award for gallantry and is the equivalent of the military's Victoria Cross.

Mr Kelly, who worked alongside Det Con Oake when he was a traffic policeman, told BBC News: "If Stephen's actions do not warrant a serious consideration then I don't know what would.

"It is always said that that every police officer puts his life on the line when they go out on patrol, but the reality is we don't.

King George VI initiated the cross in September 1940 to recognising civilian bravery during World War Two
More than 100 people received the award during the war years
The cross is conferred "for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger"
It is bestowed in the name of the monarch but is awarded on the recommendation of the prime minister
The medal comprises a simple silver cross with the image of St George slaying the dragon and the words "For Gallantry" inscribed on it
In 2000, the Queen gave the award to the Royal Ulster Constabulary to recognise its sacrifice in losing 302 members to terrorist action

"What Stephen did was over and above what normal officers do.

"When Stephen entered that flat Bourgass had already attacked and almost murdered another officer.

"When he tackled that evil man he knew he was going to be at the very least seriously injured. He knew he was putting his life on the line. It was exceptionally brave and he deserves recognition."

Bourgass, 31, was jailed for life in 2004 for murdering Det Con Oake and was jailed for 17 years this week for plotting to spread Ricin and other poisons on the UK's streets.

He had grabbed a kitchen knife in a desperate bid to escape and lashed out at the officers, injuring four and killing Det Con Oake.

Mr Kelly added: "It is almost 30 years since a police officer received this award. We have lost a number of officers since then but this is the first time we have felt moved to call for this award to be given."

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