South Yorkshire Police’s successful cold case review team which investigated unsolved murders and rapes has been axed due to funding cuts.
The team achieved huge success in the first three years after being set up in 2007 – securing 11 convictions and sentences totalling 107 years.
The unit solved one murder, nine rapes, one indecent assault and one burglary with some cases dating back to the 1970s.
Chief Superintendent Rachel Barber, South Yorkshire Police’s Crime Manager, said: “We never lose sight of our unsolved cases and while it is a blow to lose our dedicated cold case investigations team, working within the budgetary constraints meant that keeping this unit going was no longer financially feasible.
“We have found the most appropriate way to manage this situation in the current economic climate is by assigning each case to an investigating officer who is responsible for monitoring and chasing up any enquiries, should any new information come to light.
“However, our efforts and resources are primarily focused on active and emerging cases of serious crime, as these investigations are current and pose a higher risk to the communities and public of South Yorkshire.
“We understand how difficult it must be for those families who have lost loved ones who don’t yet have any closure, but where new evidence or lines of enquiry are discovered, they should be assured that these claims will be investigated and followed up.”
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