Police Scientific Development Branch - Yorkshire Ripper Inquiry

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July 1977 Request for help

On 11th July 1977 the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Mr. Gregory, wrote to the Director of the Police Scientific Development Branch asking whether the Branch was able to offer any assistance in connection with the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry.

Mr. Holt, a senior scientist with the Branch, visited the force and, after looking at the way in which the investigation was being conducted, reported to the Chief Constable that computerisation of various incident room records was feasible. Mr. Holt discovered that spare computer capacity was available at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell and that the conversion of existing records could be undertaken by the Joint Automated Data Processing Unit at a cost of £25,000. Once operational the system could have been maintained at an annual cost of £156,000.

This offer was not taken up by the Chief Constable.

April 1978 Request for help

On the 26th April 1978 Detective Chief Superintendent Domaille contacted the Police Scientific Development Branch and asked for assistance.

Members of the Branch and the Police Research Services Unit visited the force on the 4th, 22nd and 25th May and as a result agreed to arrange for the results of the vehicle observations in "red light" areas to be processed on the Police National Computer. Observations on vehicles in notable "red light" areas had by this time been commenced in other Northern cities within and outside West Yorkshire so that possible leads might be available to investigating officers in the event of a further Ripper crime.