RELATIVES of Claudia Lawrence have called on North Yorkshire’s new police chiefs to capitalise on fresh impetus in the investigation.
Peter Lawrence, the father of Claudia Lawrence, who disappeared in March 2009 has said he hoped the relaunch of an enhanced major crime unit and a new chief constable would breathe new life into the investigation.
Ms Lawrence, then aged 35, disappeared while on her way to work at York University, where she was a chef. No trace of her has ever been found and the case is being treated as suspected murder.
It is one of a number of high profile cases that North Yorkshire Police’s enhanced major crime unit will reassess when it is up and running in October.
Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan and Chief Constable Dave Jones both recently announced they were investing £300,000 in the unit, which will focus on violent and sexual crimes.
Other cases to be looked at include the case of Marsha Wray, who disappeared from Harrogate in 1997 and the Colsterdale moor body.
Chief Constable Jones took over the force in April.
“We have a new police commissioner and a new chief constable – there are fresh eyes within the police force and it seems the perfect opportunity,” he said.
“It’s inherently right that they should have a look at the case and see if anything else could have been done, or if they feel they need help from other people like the Met then they should be asking for help rather than assuming it has to be done within North Yorkshire."
In December last year, Ms Lawrence’s mother, Joan Lawrence, mayor of Malton, launched a stinging attack on the investigation, saying she did not recognise North Yorkshire Police’s portrayal of her daughter during the investigation.
Mrs Lawrence, who is originally from Darlington, also claimed the police had “missed opportunities” at the start of the investigation and had never asked her about her daughter.
Today (Sunday, July 21) police said the case had been the subject of two external reviews by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), who concluded the force was right to focus on relationships.
Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Mason, Head of Crime at North Yorkshire Police, said: “Over their history many police forces have a number of serious cases, that despite every effort to conclude them, have either stalled or remain undetected.
“It is nationally recognised best practice for forces to periodically examine such cases and re-examine them as investigative techniques and forensic science develops.”