Major Crime Unit has 100% record of crimes it investigated including those in Comet country

THE CREATION of a joint Major Crime Unit for Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary has had a wider, positive impact on operational performance across the two forces, say the police authorities for both counties. The special unit conducted f

THE CREATION of a joint Major Crime Unit for Bedfordshire Police and Hertfordshire Constabulary has had a wider, positive impact on operational performance across the two forces, say the police authorities for both counties.

The special unit conducted four operations in Comet country this year - Op Abnet - body parts found in Cottered, along with other body parts found in Hertfordshire and Leicestershire - March 2009. Two charged with murder of Jeffrey Howe; Op Pinlock - murder of Michael Gilbert - body found in Arlesey Blue Lagoon - three brothers charged. May 2009; Op Alerion - murder of Antonio Samuels in Letchworth - April 2009 - one charged and Op Plume - murder of Jaroslaw Kowalski in Stevenage - July 2009 - two charged.

Twenty-nine sentences for life imprisonment have been handed down to convicted offenders since the unit was established, and 100 per cent of the cases that have been investigated by the unit have been solved.

The unit means officers and staff in Bedfordshire Police no longer need to be released from other operational and investigative duties in order to support major crime inquiries. This means Bedfordshire has been able to increase its capacity for crime investigation across the board, tackle the key areas of robbery and domestic burglary and target more effectively prolific and priority offenders.


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The result for Bedfordshire has been a 24 per cent improvement in its rate of detecting crimes since the joint unit was set up in November 2007 and a reduction in crime overall of 16.5 per cent.

Hertfordshire Constabulary had tackled the problem of officers needing to be released from other duties to deal with major crime inquiries by introducing a centralised major crime unit for the county a few months prior to the launch of the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

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Between November 2007 and May 2009, Hertfordshire has seen a nine per cent improvement in its rate of detecting crimes and a 12 reduction of overall crime.

Chairman of Bedfordshire Police Authority, Peter Conniff, commented: "Whilst other factors and activity have also contributed to the very notable improvements in tackling crime across Bedfordshire, it is clear that establishing a joint Major Crime Unit with Hertfordshire has made a significant impact on our ability to investigate other crime, thereby cracking down on offenders and policing local communities effectively."

Stuart Nagler, chairman of Hertfordshire Police Authority, added: "One of the overarching objectives of establishing the joint Major Crime Unit, was to deliver a more efficient and resilient policing service to our communities.

"Whilst the Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit continues to exceed our expectations, I'm delighted to see the wider operational benefits that the unit is having."

The unit comprises 140 officers and police staff who investigate cases of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, kidnap, work-related death, product contamination, fail to stop road collisions, extortion and blackmail. They also investigate historical 'cold cases'.

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