Detectives Handling 14 Murder Cases at Once

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Byline: DAVID TAYLOR;JUSTIN DAVENPORT

SCOTLAND YARD detectives are routinely juggling up to 14 murder cases at a time, a year after a highly critical report accused the force of failing to make the crime a priority because staff were overstretched.

The pressure on detectives means the Met risks repeating some of the mistakes that undermined the hunt for Stephen Lawrence's killers, a new report says.

Senior officers are so concerned that the Met is to shelve dozens of unsolved cases in an effort to ease the workload.

Today's report by Her Majesty's Inspec-torate of Constabulary follows an inspection by former West Mercia chief constable David Blakey.

He says: "The workload of senior investigating officers remains a major cause for concern. The situation appears to have

deteriorated." Last year's report revealed senior detectives were handling an average of six serious crime cases at once, with some dealing with 14 cases at a time of murder, serial rape, attempted murder or follow-ups to serious public disorder.

The new figures show officers handling an average of 14 cases, with at least one top detective struggling under a caseload of 25. …