Detectives back on the case

TOP detectives are being brought out of retirement to investigate murders and rapes in a new scheme to be launched by Essex Police next week.Major crimes, both ongoing investigations and closed cases, are to be reviewed by a specialist team of retired detectives in a bid to back up officers in the force's Major Investigation Section.

TOP detectives are being brought out of retirement to investigate murders and rapes in a new scheme to be launched by Essex Police next week.

Major crimes, both ongoing investigations and closed cases, are to be reviewed by a specialist team of retired detectives in a bid to back up officers in the force's Major Investigation Section.

Two ex detective chief inspectors, Ray Newman and Peter Hamilton, start work on Monday as part of a team of three, the third of whom is to be recruited.

The team is the first of its kind in Essex Police to focus solely on reviews of major crime. Their task will be to review live investigations and undetected major crimes or "cold cases".


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Director of Investigations Det Supt Simon Coxall, who will be manager of the team said: "Essex Police is committed to providing the highest standards of criminal investigation. In the field of major crime, the Major Investigation Section of experienced detectives has more than proven its worth in achieving just these standards.

"The introduction of this team supports these aims further and as well as supporting senior investigating officers on live investigations ensures past cases come under continual scrutiny and wherever possible offenders are brought to book.

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"It will allow senior investigators to focus on their inquiry knowing that an independent eye is providing them vital support and ensuring no opportunity is overlooked. It should also provide reassurance to families and victims of both new and historical cases that Essex Police will do everything possible to ensure that perpetrators are caught and justice is done."

Reviews of "live" cases will be undertaken in stages with the first element occurring after 72 hours of an investigation being launched.

The team will make sure the investigations is thorough and meets national standards.

They will look at all aspects of the inquiry, from resources and finances to the welfare of officers on the case and the community impact of the investigation.

Unsolved cases will be revisited at seven day periods culminating in a more detailed review at 28 days.

If the case remains unsolved it will be reviewed again after 26 weeks before a concluding review establishes that all leads have been exhausted, no new evidence or techniques are available to assist in identifying an offender and everything has been done to preserve evidence and an audit trail for any future review or investigation.

At this point a "live" case will become an undetected major crime and will be reviewed at a later date under the "cold case" criteria.

When they are investigating "cold cases" the review team will look through all the original case papers and exhibits. They will then identify any new investigative or forensic opportunities.

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