Statement from North Yorkshire Police about the Claudia Lawrence investigation
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This is in response to recent media coverage involving Claudia’s mother.
It is disappointing to North Yorkshire Police that Mrs Lawrence feels such dissatisfaction.
In 2017, the investigation into the disappearance and suspected murder of Claudia Lawrence was scaled back to a reactive status.
This decision was taken at the conclusion of a comprehensive review and reinvestigation of the case, which commenced in 2013 and lasted four years.
That review, which followed separate independently led inspections of the case, involved support from national experts in varying fields and the National Crime Agency.
Even with the investigation in a reactive status, the inquiry continues to benefit from information shared by the public.
It is our hope that Mrs Lawrence, and the wider communities of York and North Yorkshire, recognise that the Senior Investigating Officer and the Major Investigation Team take seriously all such information.
A clear demonstration of this was the scale and volume of investigative activity that took place in August and September 2021. The operation involved officers from several forces, search specialists, and nationally renowned experts in forensic recovery techniques, who were deployed to advance the investigation.
This renewed activity stemmed from the receipt of fresh intelligence and North Yorkshire Police can confirm that Mrs Lawrence was informed, in person, about the searches. This was in advance of the media, or indeed the wider communities of York and North Yorkshire, becoming aware of the activity.
Several attempts at engagement have taken place since the conclusion of the enhanced investigative activity in November 2021, some as recently as March 2023, to ensure that Claudia’s family have access to any continued support which may be required.
North Yorkshire Police has consistently strived to maintain a professional and respectful relationship with Claudia’s family and this approach will continue.
We will also continue to assess all information which reaches the inquiry for its potential development.
From time to time, information which we receive from the public is established to have been previously investigated.
This was the case with regards to recent speculation linking convicted Wiltshire murderer Christopher Halliwell to Claudia Lawrence. The ‘new’ witness referenced within that speculation had, some years ago, been interviewed at length by officers from the Major Investigation Team.
Nevertheless, North Yorkshire Police continues to urge the public to pass on any information that could help the investigation. This is to ensure a full assessment can be undertaken and developed where opportunity exists to do so.
With this in mind, we very much hope to remain engaged with Claudia’s family to keep them informed about the investigation and to provide them with any support they may require going forward.
Making a report
You can make a report via the North Yorkshire Police website or by calling 101, select option 1, and pass details to the Force Control Room.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded, and you will not go to court.
Please quote “Claudia Lawrence” when providing details.