USW research will support police investigations of missing murdered

Cold Case Unit

A new University of South Wales (USW) study will help police work on cases of missing people considered murdered.  

The project, 'Missing-Murdered: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Risk Factors’, led by Dr Cheryl Allsop and Dr Helen Jones from the Cold Case Academy, is funded by the Home Office Science, Technology and Research (STARS) Fund and will run until the end of March 2023.

It seeks to understand commonalities and characteristics to assist frontline police officers to mitigate against the challenges and risks associated with recognising and responding to homicide in missing persons' investigations. This will enable police to spot the triggers which might indicate homicide when dealing with missing person reports.

Science, Technology, Analysis, Research and Strategy (STARS) is a new function that ensures that science, analysis, research and technology is utilised effectively in the Home Office.

Dr Cheryl Allsop is a senior lecturer in Criminology. Her research focuses on cold case investigations, missing people investigations, vulnerable missing people, no-body murders and unidentified found remains. She leads the USW innocence project and the USW Cold Case Academy, working with and on behalf of the families of the missing.

Dr Helen Jones is a Research Fellow in Criminology. Prior to this, she worked for Leicestershire Police, reviewing undetected homicides, stranger rapes and long-term missing persons. Her research interests include homicide, major crime investigation and policing, with a focus on qualitative research methods.