Page last updated at 12:05 GMT, Sunday, 20 November 2005

Horror and disbelief seize city

By Emma Carson
BBC News Bradford

Sharon Beshenivsky
Pc Beshenivsky was killed on her daughter's fourth birthday
The people of Bradford have spoken of their fear and shock following the killing of 38-year-old police officer Sharon Beshenivsky.

Flowers were being placed outside the city centre travel agency where she was shot in the chest on Friday afternoon while responding to a call.

One note on the flowers said: "The whole of the nation weeps as our fallen heroic angel sleeps."

Pc Beshenivsky and her partner, Pc Teresa Milburn, 37, were shot after three men had robbed the Universal Express travel agent. Pc Milburn is being treated for her injuries in hospital.

Akeel Ayub
Akeel Ayub said recently there had been less crime in the area
As shoppers crowded into the city centre on Saturday, police began boarding up the area around Morley Street.

Around 20 officers manned the cordons while the police helicopter kept watch overhead.

One policewoman said: "You just do your job and get on with it."

Mohammed Bashir owns a restaurant inside the cordon.

He said: "The restaurant has been closed and we can't go in and my food is there... (the policeman) can't let me go in and set all the foods up."

His colleague Yasin Khan added: "The loss of the officer is sad and as a community we condemn this. Obviously it's affected the businesses and at the weekend we have a lot of trade."

It's frightening when it happens on your doorstep
Michelle Simmon

The mobile phone shop where Akeel Ayub works was open, but he said the local business community was shocked.

"I think crime has come down around the area and it was getting better and a pleasant place to stay. So it is quite upsetting and disturbing to hear that something has happened where we trade."

Sulseis Bucas, a Lithuanian university teacher studying English in Bradford said: "I don't feel safe here. Other regions are safer, but especially after the bombings in London, I don't feel safe here at all."

A former Spanish policeman studying in Bradford did not want to be named but felt officers in the UK should be armed.

Bouquets on police car bonnet
People have left floral tributes to the officer
He said: "It's really unfair just to see this kind of situation where someone is killed because they are not able to wear a gun like in most of the European countries.

"I do not understand why they are not able to do it... I wish all the best to the police officers here, working without their proper tools in the 21st century."

Supermarket worker Michelle Simmon, who added a bouquet to the growing number of floral tributes, said: "I'm frightened that it's so close to where I work and where I live.

"I couldn't believe it. It's not something that happens round here... it's frightening when it happens on your doorstep."

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