2021-GCU-launches-Cold-Case-Unit

GCU launches Cold Case Unit to investigate unsolved missing person cases

Tue, 11 May 2021 10:27:00 BST
GCU will work alongside Locate International on the project
GCU will work alongside Locate International on the project

Glasgow Caledonian University is to set up a cold case unit to help investigate unsolved missing person cases. 

Criminology students will review case files and search for new evidence, working alongside the families of missing loved ones and specialists in investigation, forensic science and intelligence analysis, as part of the unique project. 

GCU will become the first university in Scotland to develop a cold case unit in partnership with Locate International, a community interest company that works with higher education institutions to help progress historical cases. 

Figures show there are more than 4000 people in the UK who have been missing for more than a year and there are around 1000 unsolved cases involving unidentified human remains. 

From a dedicated base on campus, a small number of GCU students will review and investigate cases of missing persons and put the theory that they have been taught in class into practice. Students studying Criminology will make up the initial team. Around 15 other UK universities are involved in the project, bringing in expertise from policing, forensic science, and journalism. 

Dr Maureen Taylor, a lecturer in Criminology and a former forensic investigator and criminal intelligence analyst, and director of the GCU Cold Case Unit, said: "Some of these cases are decades old and have caused families a huge amount of distress. 

"Working with Locate International and developing the cold case unit is a unique collaboration that offers the opportunity to not only give hope to the families of missing loved ones but to develop novel solutions to cold case investigations and analytical capabilities.  

"The cold case unit will provide students with the opportunity to receive fantastic training in investigation, intelligence and analysis.  

"It is a very exciting project that will help to not only develop future investigators but also bring answers to families of the missing." 

It's hoped the students will begin training in the summer and work on the first case will start in September. 

Dave Grimstead, co-founder of Locate International, said: "It is a real privilege for us to collaborate with Glasgow Caledonian University. 

"The students will develop their interdisciplinary and leadership skills in a practical way providing a service for the families of the missing and progressing cases that might not otherwise get the focused attention that they deserve." 

For more information, visit Locate International's website.