An unarmed female police officer has been killed and another was critically injured while attending a "routine incident" which led to the arrest of one of the country's most wanted men.

Dale Cregan gave himself up to police soon after the incident, Greater Manchester Police said. Cregan, 29, was being hunted in connection with separate gun and grenade attacks that killed a father and son.

GMP said in a statement: "A police officer has died and another has been critically injured as they attended a routine incident at Abbey Gardens in Hattersley, Tameside shortly before 11am today. There were reports that shots were fired. The two female police officers, who were unarmed, suffered serious injuries and one officer tragically died at the scene. The second officer has been critically injured and is being treated at hospital.

"A short time later, 29-year-old Dale Cregan was arrested after he walked into a police station in Tameside. Cregan has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder in relation to the investigations into the murders of David Short and Mark Short. He has also been arrested on suspicion of the murder of a police officer."

GMP gave no details of the "routine incident" the two officers were attending.

Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: "This is a heartbreaking time for the officers' families and colleagues and our thoughts are with them.

"I understand that the community will be fearful as they hear news of what has happened this morning. We have armed officers patrolling the area and we will aim to keep people updated as much as we can."

The murder of the woman police officer is "a terrible reminder of the risks that police officers face every day to keep our communities safe", the Home Secretary said. Theresa May said the killing was "deeply shocking".

A £50,000 reward had been offered for information leading to the arrest of Cregan, who police wanted to speak to about the murders of David Short, 46, and his son Mark, 23. Pictures were circulated nationwide of Cregan, who only has one eye.

David Short was killed at his home in Folkestone Road East, Clayton, Manchester, on August 10, while Mark was gunned down at the Cotton Tree pub in nearby Droylsden, on May 25.