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PeterMac

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PeterMac

Post by Irish Eyes on 17.12.10 17:11

Having an ex police officer as part of the forum is a bonus,

If you were still in the force and this case was shelved in the UK what would you do to get it reopened if you truly believed it needed to be reopened?


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Re: PeterMac

Post by PeterMac on 17.12.10 18:19

Retired, please, rather than ex-, which may imply something else !

There is no formal 'shelving' procedure in Britain, an investigation gets nowhere, and gradually the detetives are re-allocated to different jobs, or just go back to the stations they came from in the first place. Usually one officer is designated to be the liaison officer in case anything else comes in.
This happened on Nottingham, where in the 1980s Collette Aram was raped and murdered near Keyworth. We go nowhere, but then years later they discovered DNA profiling and the items of clothing were dug out of the fridge and sent off to be put on the data base. Again nothing, until a man was arested for drink driving, and routinely fingerprinted and DNA swabbed.
That gave a match to the family, and the investigation sprang into life again, with an incident room set up, but this time in conditions of some secrecy. The team given the task of 'developing' the evidence traced the exact person who was arrested, interviewed, went "no Comment" on the advice of his solicitor, pleaded guilty, and a few months ago hanged himself in prison.
All major cold cases are reviewed periodically, by an officer totally independent of the original SIO, and from time to time further enquiries follow from that process.
But there is no formal 'shelving', and certainly no release of evidence to the outside world. Perhaps there should be !

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Re: PeterMac

Post by Irish Eyes on 18.12.10 8:29

Thank you PeterMac

What do you think about Leicestershire Police linking the McCanns website on the police website? Is it normal for police websites to do that when the people in question were prime suspects in a heinous crime?

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Re: PeterMac

Post by aiyoyo on 18.12.10 10:48

@PeterMac wrote:Retired, please, rather than ex-, which may imply something else !

There is no formal 'shelving' procedure in Britain, an investigation gets nowhere, and gradually the detetives are re-allocated to different jobs, or just go back to the stations they came from in the first place. Usually one officer is designated to be the liaison officer in case anything else comes in.
This happened on Nottingham, where in the 1980s Collette Aram was raped and murdered near Keyworth. We go nowhere, but then years later they discovered DNA profiling and the items of clothing were dug out of the fridge and sent off to be put on the data base. Again nothing, until a man was arested for drink driving, and routinely fingerprinted and DNA swabbed.
That gave a match to the family, and the investigation sprang into life again, with an incident room set up, but this time in conditions of some secrecy. The team given the task of 'developing' the evidence traced the exact person who was arrested, interviewed, went "no Comment" on the advice of his solicitor, pleaded guilty, and a few months ago hanged himself in prison.
All major cold cases are reviewed periodically, by an officer totally independent of the original SIO, and from time to time further enquiries follow from that process.
But there is no formal 'shelving', and certainly no release of evidence to the outside world. Perhaps there should be !

I find the shelving and info release unique to Portugal as I have not come across any other country that has that practice. Not sure whether it's good or bad because at the end of the day when a case remains unsolved it cant possibly be closed. At most it stays inactive pending further evidence or pending further review periodically. I like the UK system you've described that an officer totally independent of the original SIO, is in charge of the review. New eyes going over can sometimes make a difference, seeing it fresh for the first time bears some advantages.

Not sure how periodically case review is carried out in PT or is it practised at all, because a formal shelving I suspect is somewhat different from leaving the case inactive. I suspect not all cases are shelved even when they have the shelving system. They made mccanns case an exception because keeping it indefinitely opened on inactive basis is not possible because of pressure from mccanns expensive lawyers and of course mccanns spinning in the media and scathing remarks on PJ.

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