Scottish cold case unit to be established

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A "cold case" unit to tackle unsolved murders and other serious crimes is being set up, it was announced today.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said the unit will support prosecutors and police in reviewing unsolved crimes from across Scotland to identify those which merit fresh investigation.

He said: "Justice will pursue down the years those who have so far evaded detection for their crimes. The passage of time should be no protection. We will not give up and will seek to identify the perpetrator using new forensic and other investigation techniques and prosecute them for their crimes.

"No one should escape the consequences of their criminality and the grief this brings to victims and their families.

"Our specialist unit will work with local prosecutors and the police to identify unsolved murders for renewed investigation.

"Malcolm Webster was convicted for the murder of his wife which he committed 17 years ago, a crime for which he believed he had escaped punishment. I do hope that such convictions and our determination to pursue criminals provides some reassurance and comfort to the family and friends of the victim."

Strathclyde Police today re-appealed for new information about the murder of 16-year-old Elaine Doyle in Greenock 25 years ago.

Mr Mulholland added: "Elaine was brutally murdered in Greenock 25 years ago today. I well remember the case and its impact on the local community and indeed across central Scotland as I was a prosecutor in the Greenock office at that time. I would appeal to anyone with any information which could lead to the conviction of her murderer to contact the police immediately."

The unit, which will build on existing relationships with police and forensic services in Scotland, was welcomed by the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) and the Scottish Police Services Association.