Huge team continue to probe killings

POLICE bosses are processing more than 3,200 overtime claims made by officers involved in the inquiry into the Ipswich red-light killings.

POLICE bosses are processing more than 3,200 overtime claims made by officers involved in the inquiry into the Ipswich red-light killings.

More than 250 police officers and staff from across the country are today continuing to work on the investigation.

The teams are meticulously cataloguing evidence and interviewing potential witnesses in their bid to bring the killer or killers to justice.

Between December 2 and December 12 last year, the bodies of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, were discovered in rural locations around Ipswich.

All the women had been prostitutes in the town.

The inquiry into their deaths has been the biggest in Suffolk's history and has involved officers from nearly every force in the country.

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The force had received 3,251 overtime claims by February 20 and the cost of staffing the inquiry is expected to contribute significantly to the anticipated £19million bill for the investigation.

No other operations have been suspended during the investigation but some have been running with reduced staff.

These include the investigation into the disappearance of Luke Durbin, who was 19 when he disappeared on May 12, 2006.

The team investigating his whereabouts was temporarily downsized at the height of the investigation into the red-light killings.

Today 70 police officers and staff from outside the county continue to offer assistance with the police investigation into the deaths of the women.

In addition to this, 191 officers and staff from Suffolk are working on the inquiry, codenamed Operation Sumac.

At its height more than 500 police officers and staff were working on the investigation.

Steve Wright, 48, of London Road, Ipswich, has been charged with the murders of all five women.

He is due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 1 and has not yet entered a plea.

THE Evening Star is doing its bit to help vulnerable young people in Ipswich through it's Somebody's Daughter appeal.

It was launched to remember the victims of the red-light killings and thousands of pounds have already been pledged to the fund, which is being run in conjunction with Ipswich Borough Council.

Outline plans are under way to build a refuge in the town to try to break the cycle of drugs and prostitution.

Donations to the memorial fund can be made online at www.eveningstar.co.uk, in person at Ipswich Borough Council's customer service centre in the Town Hall, by calling 01473 433777, or by sending a cheque, made payable to Somebody's Daughter Memorial Fund, to PO Box 772, Ipswich Borough Council, Grafton House, 15-17 Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 2DE.