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PCC praises Emerald Team for outstanding work after its first year
Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has praised the Force’s Emerald Team for their success over the last year which has resulted in the highest charge rate for the last six years after dealing with more than 2,000 cases.  

The Emerald Team was set up in September 2016 in an effort to tackle domestic abuse, rape, and serious sexual offences. The team was also tasked with improving investigations and increasing positive outcomes.

“In even the first six months the Emerald Team had proved the wisdom of gathering specialist detectives together in one place to deal with a particularly horrendous set of crimes, largely though not exclusively, against women and young girls. They charged more people in that six months in these areas than the Force had done in the previous six years,” said Commissioner Holloway.

“Those reporting rape and serious sexual offences, together with domestic abuse, can be absolutely certain of a truly profession response by an absolutely dedicated team, as I’ve seen myself having spent time with them,” added the PCC.

The Emerald team, which is headed up by Detective Chief Inspector John Murphy, celebrates its one year anniversary in September and has produced excellent results with conviction rates consistently above the target rate. Before Emerald was established, the detected domestic abuse rate was 24.9 per cent, but the team now achieves an outcome in 35.7 per cent of cases.

Detective Chief Inspector John Murphy, force tactical lead for domestic abuse, said: “The team unites the investigation of domestic and serious sexual offences – crime types which can often share characteristics including inter-relationship abuse, vulnerability, breach of trust and repeat victimisation.

“Before Emerald the way the force dealt with domestic abuse was fragmented and since its inception the improvements to our response to this crime, and the service to victims, is clear. In the first six months of the unit’s existence the team secured the highest charge rate for the last six years. The conviction rate is also consistently above target rate.

"We know that many of these offences can have serious and long-lasting effects, and the Emerald team working together with partners will ensure protection and support for victims and robust prosecution of offenders.”

The unit has also focused on ways to reduce the number of crimes of a sexual or violent nature by educating the public and asking for their support. Last year, the team went to Luton Football Club, where they were warmly received and hundreds of football fans signed the pledge.

Looking ahead to the team’s second year, outstanding performances of Emerald has led the Commissioner to invest further in these specialist detectives.

“The success of Emerald and its sheer workload means I have committed the entire £250,000 under spend from last year to increasing staff. But the huge level of demand means that one of my arguments to government for an urgent uplift in funding for Bedfordshire Police is to strengthen this excellent team still further,” said the Commissioner.