Police still getting help

ELEVEN British police forces are still assisting Suffolk Constabulary today with their inquiry into the killings of five women.A total of 19 officers from throughout the country are working on the investigations into the deaths of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton and Paula Clennell, both 24 and Annette Nicholls, 29.

ELEVEN British police forces are still assisting Suffolk Constabulary today with their inquiry into the killings of five women.

A total of 19 officers from throughout the country are working on the investigations into the deaths of Tania Nicol, 19, Gemma Adams, 25, Anneli Alderton and Paula Clennell, both 24 and Annette Nicholls, 29.

The women's bodies were discovered in the Copdock, Hintlesham and Nacton areas during a 10-day period in December last year.

Representatives from Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Merseyside, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, West Mercia, Hampshire, Cumbria, Wiltshire and Nottingham are currently trawling through statements and other potential evidence.

British Transport Police has also supplied resource to help on the five separate inquiries, which are under the umbrella of one investigation codenamed Operation Sumac.

Following the discovery of the bodies of Miss Clennell and Miss Nicholls on December 12, a total of 267 officers from other forces were drafted in.

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Ministry of Defence officers and a representative from the Police Service of Northern Ireland also offered assistance.

The sheer scale of the investigation strained Suffolk Constabulary's resources, which is one of the smallest forces in the country with just 1,323 officers.

As around 230 of them were working on - or supporting - the inquiry teams, it meant that in excess of one in six of the county's officers were working on the investigation.

By early January, 256 officers from 34 forces from across the UK were still on the inquiry, headed by detective superintendent Stewart Gull. However, that number has now been scaled down to less than two dozen.

Steve Wright, 49. of London Road is charged with the murder of all five women.

He denied the charges at his last court appearance in Ipswich on May 1.

Wright's trial is due to start on January 14 next year at Ipswich Crown Court.

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