Investigations and Investigative Support

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  • During an investigation, the work of the Force Major Investigation Team can involve between 50 and 100 people.
  • Between November 1, 2010 and October 30, 2013 there were 95 victims of homicide in Lancashire.
  • These crimes involved 84 offenders – nine of whom were responsible for more than one victim.
  • Officers investigated 43 murders, 30 attempted murders and 18 offences of causing death by dangerous driving in that period.
  • Lancashire also has cold case teams investigating serious, historic unsolved crimes.

The Force Major Investigation Team is a crucial part of Lancashire Constabulary – it provides a specialised investigative response to serious crimes including murder, manslaughter, kidnap, extortion and stranger rape.

Over the last 12-months some of the key crimes the team has been involved in investigating include the murder of 16-year-old student Sasha Marsden in Blackpool, the deaths of four children in a house fire in Freckleton, the attempted murder of Derek Wildeman in Blackburn and the case of a Slovakian woman who was trafficked to the UK and exploited.
And each case the team investigates brings its own unique challenge.

Temporary Detective Superintendent Paul Withers, from the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “When there is a significant homicide in Lancashire I am fortunate I have a lot of staff I can call on – because it has to be investigated properly.
“There are house-to-house teams, CCTV teams, search teams, interview teams, forensic teams, a senior investigating officer and Family Liaison Officers – a lot of which the public don’t always see.
“For example in the case of Sasha Marsden we arrested David Minto quickly, but we still had to spend a significant amount of money forensically – and it was that which really contributed to the successful conviction.
“And in the case of the Slovakian woman who was trafficked across Europe and subsequently rescued from a house in Burnley, a lot of money had to be spent on interpreters for the investigation. We conducted in excess of 30 video interviews with the victim and it was an investigation that spanned Europe, with Lancashire officers travelling to Slovakia to conduct enquiries there. The cost of the investigation was massive – but we secured the convictions, and that’s what matters.”

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