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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 10:05 GMT
Shock hits home in Manchester
Officers in masked and protective suits guard the scene
Masked and hooded police are guarding the flat

At the door to the flats where the Special Branch detective was killed, two police forensic experts stand encased in green overalls, with their white face masks under their hoods.

They are part of the secure ring in the sealed-off section of Crumpsall Lane, where all the different police investigations and internal inquiries will be concentrated.

The chief constable was in front of the breakfast TV lights before dawn, frankly explaining how the raid had gone wrong

They want to establish how a man already under arrest was able to produce a knife and stab to death Detective Constable Stephen Oake.

On Wednesday morning the murder scene was surrounded by media vehicles, with satellite vans and radio cars jostling for position beyond the police barriers.

Journalists interview a stream of community representatives, local residents and eye-witnesses from the multi-cultural society that makes up this diverse suburb.

The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Michael Todd, was in front of the breakfast television lights before dawn, frankly explaining how the raid had gone wrong.

Mixed community

Then came the great and the good of Crumpsall, who described their community - emphasising the harmony between the Jewish and Muslim residents, the East European and African families.

One leader explained every street was so mixed that fresh arrivals, like the three arrested men with North African origins, would never look out of place.

Youngsters who swarmed around the area within hours of the murder had disappeared.

Many had just been attracted by the flashing lights, but others had been outside the three-storey building - converted into flats - when officers had to react to the sudden knife attack.

Dedicated detective

Their words and descriptions were hungrily recorded for instant broadcast.

Of course most of the police action is well away from here.

The questioning of the three arrested men takes place in various police stations in Manchester and London.

Local people walking their children to school seemed to accept the new notoriety thrust upon Crumpsall

The recovery of the wounded officers will be kept well away from public gaze in the North Manchester General hospital.

Commuter traffic streamed into Manchester city centre on Wednesday morning, crawled within yards of the murder site.

Local people walking their children to school seemed to accept the new notoriety thrust upon Crumpsall by the shadow of international terrorism.

They were also mourning the untimely death of a dedicated detective attempting to fulfil his dangerous duties.


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