Greater Manchester Police's (GMP) first Asian detective inspector, who joined the force 50 years ago, has spoken about his remarkable career and some of the high-profile cases he has worked on. 

Mo Shafiq, 72, from Bury, has worked with Lancashire Constabulary, and West Yorkshire Constabulary as well as GMP, where he was often placed in Bolton.

The retired officer’s family hail from Pakistan, and as Mr Shafiq's own dad served in the Indian army, he was persuaded to initially join the Bury force after playing rugby with officers at the Bury Sports Club.

(Image: Mo Shafiq)

After becoming a sergeant and a detective inspector in Bolton, he retired in the town in 2003.

He said: “I was grounded in Bolton and that’s where I learnt all my skills as well as my probation period too, so it is close to my heart.”

One of the high-profile cases Mr Shafiq still remembers is the Danielle Moorcroft murder in Bolton in 2002.

Miss Moorcroft was a pregnant prostitute when she was murdered.

Her body was found "battered" and the former official recalls having "difficulty" obtaining statements from girls she knew.

The case was solved in 2005 when Mr Shafiq was retired, and Stuart Milsted was arrested and given life for her murder.

(Image: Mo Shafiq)

He said: “It was long hours and going home late.

“The intel had dried up and we thought about how we could bring the case back to life again.

“You had to gain the trust of the girls for them to speak to police.

“I am happy of course when someone is rescued or a case is solved."

Another case Mr Shafiq worked on was the high-profile case of notorious gangster Billy Webbe.

Webbe was a known gangster operating in Bolton and was eventually arrested while taking drugs over to Scotland. 

But before he could appear in court, he was shot and killed at home in 2001.

Mr Shafiq said of his involvement in the case: “You are taking away danger from society and I was satisfied to see the organisation finally part.”

(Image: Mo Shafiq)

Another case involved a small child who died in a house fire when the mum had gone to get milk.

He said: “She came back to see the house on fire.

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(Image: Mo Shafiq)

“You have your own family but cannot investigate thoroughly if you allow it to get to you.

“You learn to handle it the best way you can, but the stress can be difficult.

“I did not want to lock the mother up and no action was taken against her.”

Mr Shafiq's career has been full of stories of triumph when he led a team to solve a case.

He was awarded a Queen’s Medal for his service in 2003 and later invited to Buckingham Palace to "mark the contribution Pioneers have made to the life of the nation". 

The retired officer now lives in Radcliffe with his family.

Commenting on some of the most memorable moments in his career, Mr Shafiq said: “I remember when the Sex Pistols came to play a concert in Manchester city centre.

"I was a sergeant at the time and my unit was patrolling Piccadilly bus station when we were pelted with rocks thrown by punk rockers. We had to use bin lids for protection as that was all we had available to us.

"Thankfully the equipment has gotten much better over the years."