Head of major crime speaks of force's drive to bring justice to victims' families

The head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit has revealed the inspiration that motivates his force to bring criminals to justice.

Detective Superintendent Ian Hunter told the Express this week that while homicide rates in the Thames Valley are dropping, TVP continues to face challenges in its investigation of serious crime.

But he said the target of bringing justice to victims’ families was a driving force for the Major Crime Unit.

Det Supt Hunter, who joined TVP as a police constable in 1998, said: “I’m sure that victims’ families never ever forget what happens to their loved ones when they are involved in a homicide.

“If they don’t forget, I don’t think Thames Valley Police should either.”

Det Supt Hunter pointed to the work carried out by the Major Crime Unit to track down 21-year-old fugitive Devarn Francis, who fled the country after playing a part in the killing of Slough teenager Wa-ays Dhaye in 2016.

Francis, of Hithercroft Road, High Wycombe, received a 16-year jail term on Wednesday, January 23 after he was traced to the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent and returned to the UK where he was convicted of manslaughter.

“I hope this shows our desire to pursue justice wherever people go to,” Dept Supt Hunter said.

“We convicted people in the first two trials but this individual thought that they could escape justice and by going to the Caribbean they’d be untouchable.

“I think that case showed the determination that the major crime team show every day.”

TVP’s Major Crime Unit currently detects 95 per cent of the murders that take place in the region, Det Supt Hunter said.

But he added that the force was facing increasing challenges in its investigation of major crime due to the changing digital age and the difficulty in recruiting new detectives.

“People thinking about joining should go in with their eyes wide open. You are going to deal with some demanding issues, but it’s also incredibly satisfying that you’re going to help people do some good.”

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