New team of 50 probe Una murder as lead detective admits “initial response was not the best but police have put it behind them and moved on’

14:52 06 May 2014

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. PC Daniel Gardner fixing one of the new posters. Picture: Steve Williams.

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. PC Daniel Gardner fixing one of the new posters. Picture: Steve Williams.

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A new team of 50 police officers from across three counties has been put together to trace the killer of 86 year-old Una Crown.

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams.Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech.Picture: Steve Williams.

The team began work in Wisbech today – and were immediately helped by a new witness coming forward.

Det Chief Insp Basra said: “The initial response was not the best but police have put it behind them and moved on from that.”

A mobile police station will be on the Barton Road playing field- home to Wisbech Acorns Youth Football Club- for the next fortnight to encourage witnesses to come forward.

The new team includes officers from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire police force to finally solve the mystery of who killed Mrs Crown.

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Det Chief Inspector Sharn Basra.Picture: Steve Williams.Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Det Chief Inspector Sharn Basra.Picture: Steve Williams.

Det Chief Insp Basra said his team had the full support of Mrs Crown’s family in their bid to track her killer.

“This exercise is fruitful,” he said. “We are going to go back to the weekend of the January 12, 2013 and try to recreate the circumstances that have happened and build on what we have already achieved.

“The investigation has never closed. We want to identify new avenues. Sixteen months on and the investigation has achieved a lot. The new team is a whole fresh perspective.

“We urge anyone with information who has not yet come forward to speak to officers and to anyone who has already given information we urge you to come forward again to be re-interviewed.”

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Mobile police station being used as  operaration control.Picture: Steve Williams.Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Mobile police station being used as operaration control.Picture: Steve Williams.

Within two hours of the fresh appeal a new witness came forward to give evidence to officers at the mobile police van.

Headed up by Welwyn Garden City-based DCI Basra, the new ears and eyes of the investigation team are conducting house to house inquiries, putting up posters and working to solve the mystery that has been ongoing for 16 months.

Within a few hours of the new appeal 18 officers were knocking on the doors of homes around Mrs Crown’s Magazine Lane home to ask residents to think back to the weekend when her body was discovered.

Newly designed posters, advertising the £10,000 Crimestoppers reward for information, are also being put up in the area.

Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Bungalow where Una Crown was murdered.Picture: Steve Williams.Una Crown Press conference.Wisbech. Bungalow where Una Crown was murdered.Picture: Steve Williams.

Mrs Crown was last seen alive on Friday January 11 when she went shopping with her family. She then spoke to a friend by telephone at 5pm on the Saturday.

Her body was discovered at 10.45am on Saturday January 12. She had been stabbed then set on fire in an apparent effort to disguise her injuries and destroy evidence.

Initially police thought Mrs Crown’s death to be a tragic accident and it was not until three days later that a murder hunt was launched.

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