Nationwide hunts for killers, arrests and charges in cases which occurred more than 30 years ago and work with authorities overseas formed part of just some of the investigations officers and staff from the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit have tackled in the last year.
Their work in 2014 has seen 35 offenders sentenced to a total of 635 years in prison for both recent and historic offences.
Det Supt Paul Fullwood, who is in charge of the collaborated unit, said: “At the heart of what we do are the victims and their families and knowing that we have achieved these significant prison terms, makes our job even more worthwhile.
“The cases we deal with can be horrific, complex and challenging but the hard work, passion and determination of my staff to catch some of the most serious and dangerous offenders in our society means that our streets are even safer.”
The tri-force unit was established in April 2012 and is made up of 106 detectives and 76 staff who investigate all major crimes across the three counties. The offences they deal with include murder, manslaughter and stranger rape, as well as cold case (historic) offences.
Det Supt Fullwood said: “The successes we have delivered this year are a true reflection of team working. Not only is the unit dedicated and committed to solving these crimes, we are ever grateful for support of colleagues across a number of departments.
“It is important to thank members of the public too. Your information can bring significant breakthroughs for us and it is vital we work together. I am particularly grateful to those people who assist us in the court process by giving statements and evidence, sometimes in difficult circumstances. Your bravery and support is commended, thank you.”
The specialist team has two bases in Huntingdon and Welwyn Garden City but can work from anywhere within the three counties.
Successful prosecutions in the Beds area have included the jailing of three teenagers for a total of 68 years in April for the murder of Kempston pensioner Sharif Demirsay during a bungled burglary in May 2013. His partner Parshini Sulhotra was also injured in the burglary which went horrifically wrong.
Four men were jailed for life for the murder of Isaac Stone. Mohammed Hussain, 22, Fahim Khan, 20, and brothers Javed and Rubel Miah, aged 21 and 19, all from Bedford, were found guilty at Luton Crown Court of killing rapper Isaac Stone, known as Dynamikk. Rubel Miah and Khan were also convicted of causing grievous bodily harm. Rubel Miah was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years; Javed Miah to 26 years; Mohammed Hussain 25 years and Fahim Khan sentenced to 28 years.
On December 19, a 33-year-old man from Bedford received a life sentence with a minimum of nine years to be served after being found guilty on November 4 of a raping a young woman as she made her way home following a night working in a pub in Bedford. In addition to this Abdul Ghafoor was sentenced to two years for actual bodily harm to run concurrently.