Police get £8m for Suffolk murders probe

The police force investigating the Ipswich prostitute murders was yesterday promised an extra £8 million by the Government.Police Minister Tony McNulty said Suffolk Police would have to find £1 million of the £9 million spent on the investigation so far, with the Home Office paying the rest.

The police force investigating the Ipswich prostitute murders was yesterday promised an extra £8m by the government.

Police minister Tony McNulty said Suffolk police would have to find £1m of the £9m spent on the investigation so far, with the Home Office paying the rest.

More money would follow next year, he told the Commons.

In reply to a question from Ipswich MP Chris Mole, he said the costs of the "exceptional events" just before Christmas would be covered by a specific grant in addition to the force's normal funding.

"As we are now, Suffolk has applied for all the activities thus far - some £9m of special grant," he said.

"Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has determined that much of that is entirely reasonable but it's only going to be the first half of an extended special grant because clearly pre-trial preparation and further investigations will carry well on into the subsequent financial years."

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"We will be equally very sympathetic given the unusual circumstances for what is a relatively small force when the second half of that special grant comes in next year and will treat it in similar or better terms."

Hundreds of officers and support staff from more than 30 UK forces worked on the investigations into the deaths of the five women who worked in Ipswich.

Detectives worked non-stop for two weeks late last year on the biggest inquiry of its kind seen in Britain for more than a quarter of a century.

Police launched five separate murder investigations, each headed by an officer of Detective Chief Inspector rank or above.

Figures released earlier this month by the Suffolk Police Authority estimated that the total costs of the inquiry will come to £19m - £9m to the end of April and nearly £10m between May and April 2008.

Steve Wright, 48, of Ipswich, has been charged with the murders of prostitutes Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29.

He is being held in custody at Belmarsh prison in south-east London and is next due to appear before Ipswich Crown Court in May. He has entered no plea to the charges.