Police officers dealing with Manchester attack boosted by public response

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Smiles and thanks from the public have boosted morale within the Greater Manchester police force in what has been a "trying" week, an officer said.

Many have had days off cancelled and put in long hours to help with the investigation into suicide bomber Salman Abedi and the potential terror network behind the massacre.

Initial shock following the attack soon gave way to a determination to find out what happened and ensure the public are protected, the officer, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Asked how he and colleagues felt in the wake of the atrocity he told the Press Association: "It's shocking but let's get on with it. We've got a job to do, regardless."

The 41-year-old, who was not involved in policing the immediate aftermath of Monday's bombing,  said: "They (police) just want to do whatever they can to make sure that the public are reassured.

"Even though they are stretched and they have had rest days cancelled.

"It doesn't matter to them, they'll do it because they care that much about the job they do."

Asked how the past week has been the officer, who has served with the force for 25 years, said: "Trying".

Enjoying some time off this weekend he said he had a "humbling" experience as he saw the reaction of the public to the heightened security presence.

He said: "I was walking around Piccadilly station earlier and everyone was smiling and saying hello to the bobbies. That doesn't normally happen.

"They were saying 'hiya' and the bobbies were saying 'hiya' back.

"The morale is rock bottom at the minute, they've (forces) had so many cuts and so much to deal with but that doesn't matter when something like this happens.

"Everybody just cracks on. But that reaction from the public is just such a boost.

"I saw it from another side today because I'm not at work. It has really been humbling."

He said officers had received a thank you email from Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, acknowledging their dedication and the understanding of their families as they worked round the clock on the investigation.

His comments come after police were high-fived and thanked by concertgoers as they patrolled a gig at Lancashire County Cricket Club's Old Trafford Ground on Saturday night.