Thousands of police officers from across the country have gathered in memory of a policewoman killed in a gun and grenade attack.

All bowed their heads solemnly when the funeral cortege for Pc Nicola Hughes, 23, passed as they lined the procession route through an eerily quiet Manchester city centre.

They were joined in Deansgate by hundreds of members of the public who heeded a call from Greater Manchester Police for "decent people" to stand shoulder by shoulder with the force in tribute to Pc Hughes and her colleague, Pc Fiona Bone, 32.

Office workers left their desks, shops emptied and building sites fell silent in a public show of respect. Police motorcycle outriders provided a guard of honour ahead of the cortege, led by the funeral carriage pulled by six horses from GMP's mounted unit and bearing the coffin, shrouded in black cloth.

Both officers were lured to their deaths by what appeared to be a routine burglary call to a house in Hattersley, Tameside, on September 18.

Officers from forces nationwide volunteered to cover the shifts of GMP colleagues so they could attend the service at Manchester Cathedral, with most of them lining the funeral procession route. A big screen was relaying the funeral at the rear of the cathedral for hundreds more gathered outside.

The funeral of Pc Bone will take place at the same venue on Thursday.

The six officers on horseback formed a guard of honour as the hearse arrived at the cathedral entrance. Spontaneous applause came from the crowd as the procession went along Deansgate until chimes began to sound from the cathedral as mourners observed a 15-minute silence.

The family of Pc Hughes entered the cathedral including her mother, Susan, father, Bryn, and younger brother, Sam. Pc Hughes, from Oldham, joined GMP in 2009. Her family said she wanted to make a difference and was doing a job she loved. Fellow officers described her as a chatterbox, always smiling, with a bubbly, infectious personality.

Colleagues of Pc Hughes gave poetry and Bible readings. Sergeant Stephen Lovatt read Death Is Nothing At All, Inspector Jane Brown read Don't Let Your Hearts Be Troubled and Sergeant Gordon Swan read Feel No Guilt In Laughter.