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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 20:30 GMT
Suburb in shock over killing
The scene outside the flats where the incident took place
Crumpsall is a "multi-racial, tolerant community"

Crumpsall, if anything, is dull. It is a grey, anonymous, quiet part of north Manchester.

It is, if not one of the last places on earth, one of the last places in Manchester you would expect a policeman to be stabbed to death.

Nor the kind of place where an anti-terrorist operation would take place.

But on Tuesday evening that is exactly what this quiet suburb became.

If it can happen here it can happen anywhere. Policemen don't get killed in Crumpsall

Wasim Zarif
No-one living here can quite take it in.

As a crowd gathered at the end of Crumpsall Lane when it became clear something major was happening, the one word that was repeated throughout was "bizarre".

When the news came through a policeman had died, the shock was visible on all their faces.

Teenager Wasim Zarif told BBC News Online: "If it can happen here it can happen anywhere. Policemen don't get killed in Crumpsall.

'Tolerant' community

"You hear about policemen being killed, but you just don't expect it to be round the corner from where you live."

The tree-lined neighbourhood where the suspects had been living was a peaceful one, he added.

"Nothing like this ever happens here. When the BNP started talking about organising marches in north Manchester, they realised there was no support so they didn't bother.

"We all try to get on with each other."

Leading local rabbi Arnold Saunders spoke of the tolerance shown by residents from a range of religions and cultures.

Local resident Lynn Neill
Lynn Neill: "What sort of world are we living in?"
He told BBC North West Tonight: "This is a very mixed community...where Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, all living side-by-side, cheek-by-jowl, with no problems whatsoever.

"The people involved in this came into the area and took advantage of the anonymity this area affords them because they can blend into the background."

Ed O'Halleron walks to Crumpsall tram station, on Crumpsall Lane, every day when he goes to work.

He said: "The people who did this did not show any respect for the sanctity for human life and I believe all members of this community are shocked by it - regardless of their race or religion."

We have excellent lines of communication established with members of the local community

Chief Superintendent Tony Porter
Another resident, Lynn Neill said: "I have just had a baby and you really have to wonder what kind of world you are bringing a child into."

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Michael Todd, urged people to start believing the terrorist threat was real.

"I think we all have to recognise that terrorism is an international problem - and a national one."

'Extremely emotive'

Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of GMP's Community Affairs for Greater Manchester Police recognised the community will be feeling vulnerable.

"The situation was entirely unique and extremely emotive," he said.

"Not only was there a link to terrorism, but we are also dealing with the tragic death of a police officer.

"But we have excellent lines of communication established with members of the local community.

"We would ask people to remain vigilant and if anyone has any particular concerns we would urge them to contact us."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Dave Guest
"This community found itself the unwilling star of a real drama"
  The BBC's Andrew North reports from Manchester
"There is a growing risk of inter-community tensions rising"

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