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New police team may re-open cold case files

PUBLISHED: 12:13 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:45 23 August 2010

MYSTERY: Claire Tiltman’s murder in 1993 remains unsolved.

MYSTERY: Claire Tiltman's murder in 1993 remains unsolved.

MORE than 1,000 police from two counties have been merged to target serious and organised crime. The massive team of 1,100 officers and staff is part of new measure to share resources and reduce policing costs between Kent and Essex. Based at the North

MORE than 1,000 police from two counties have been merged to target serious and organised crime.

The massive team of 1,100 officers and staff is part of new measure to share resources and reduce policing costs between Kent and Essex.

Based at the North Kent Police Station, in Thamesway, Northfleet, the Serious Crime Directorate will become one of the largest UK policing divisions.

Kent's Assistant Chief Constable Alan Pughsley will lead the group tasked with jointly solving murders, rapes and even cold case investigations.

He revealed it was possible the team would look in to the unsolved murder of Claire Tiltman, from Greenhithe, who was stabbed to death in January 1993 when she was 16-years-old.

Mr Pughsley said: "We will be looking at any opportunity with any cold case. Everything is possible - without saying 100 per cent 'yes' [about Claire's case] certainly any case due for review will be reviewed."

Mr Pughsley also denied it was the first stage of a merger between the two forces.

He said: "Many of our major criminal groups come out of London, and we will be sharing intelligence with the Metropolitan Police, who absolutely support us.

"It is not the first stage of a merger between the two forces. We are both resolute in keeping our identities."

Staff numbers are to be streamlined so there is no duplication of jobs, but rather than make redundancies and lose jobs officers might go into other police operations or areas.

They have already agreed to have a single IT department and share a helicopter.

He added: "There will be savings. It's probably too early to say how much because the finer details are still being worked out, but there will be long-term recurring savings.

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