Investigations and Investigative Support 2015/16

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  • During an investigation, the work of the Force Major Investigation Team can involve between 50 and 100 people.
  • Between 1st April 2012 and 31st March 2015 (last 3 years) there were 53 victims of Homicide including road deaths in Lancashire.
  • These crimes involved 95 offenders – six of whom were responsible for more than one victim. Eight offenders were charged with one Murder.
  • Officers investigated 33 Murders, 38 Attempted Murders, 4 Manslaughters and 16 offences of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving in that period. Every offence has been detected.
  • Lancashire also has ongoing enquiries 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, Attempted Murder, Kidnap, Extortion and Stranger Rape. The team also works closely with the Road Policing Unit to investigate and prosecute offences of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving.

Over the last 12-months some of the key crimes the team has been involved in include the prosecution for the Murder of 15-year-old Paige Chivers in Blackpool, the Murder of Jon-Jo Highton in Preston, Serial Rapist Mateusz Otfinowski in Morecambe and Lancaster, the street abduction of a 6 year old girl in Burnley and the Murder by an 87 year old man of his 75 year old wife in Blackburn.

Five Murders and two Attempted Murders involved child victims under 6 years of age. Each case the team investigates brings its own unique challenges in bringing perpetrators to justice and providing answers for the families and loved ones of the victims.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Simm from the Force Major Investigation Team said: “When there is a significant homicide in Lancashire we are fortunate to have a lot of staff to call on – because it has to be investigated professionally.

There are House-to-House teams, CCTV and Telephony Data teams, Search and Forensic teams, highly trained Interview teams, HOLMES teams and Crime Analysts, a Senior Investigating Officer and Family Liaison Officers – most of whom the public don’t see.

For example in the case of Jon-Jo Highton a single Murder investigation resulted in 8 offenders charged with Murder, 3 offenders charged with Assisting Offenders and further trials will take place for people charged with Perverting the Course of Justice. The Trial alone lasted for 13 weeks and involved a large scale security operation. Without the specialist skills and expertise that Force Major Investigation Team can bring to bear, a case of this size could have been very problematic for the Constabulary to manage so effectively.

Paige Chivers disappeared without trace in Blackpool on 23/08/07 and a long running, complex and meticulous investigation has resulted in the prosecution of two men for her Murder 8 years later. Even when the work of the Major Investigation Team is unseen and unpublicised it is relentless in its pursuit of justice for victims.

The cases that make the national news or the front pages of your local newspapers, that cause anxiety to neighbourhoods and misery to families, are the offences investigated by the Force Major Investigation Team and the 100% detection rate in this period is testament to the commitment, hard work and dedication of every member of that team in serving the people of Lancashire.”

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