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22 October 2013, 06:00
Just over a year since Herts and Beds Police joined forces with Cambridgeshire's detectives to create the Major Crime Unit, some of the area's most serious criminals have been caught and sent to prison to serve a total of more than 1000 years.
Judges have now passed a total of 1,018 years' imprisonment in minimum tariffs on life sentences and jail terms for those responsible for some horrific crimes in the three counties.
A total of 37 life sentences have been passed since the unit was launched last year.
The latest offenders to be sentenced were Thilak Mohan-Raj, 25, who was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years at Luton Crown Court and Michael Carroll who was given life with a minimum 11 years at Cambridge Crown Court. Both were sentenced for murder on Friday, October 11.
Yesterday (Monday 21st Oct), 55 year-old Ian McLouglin was jailed for life with a minimum of 40 years for the murder of a 66 year old who was helping his neighbour - a convicted paedophile - from being robbed near Berkhamsted.
Ian McLoughlin pleaded guilty to killing Graham Buck in Little Gaddesden in July.
In another case investigated by the Major Crime Unit, Mohan Raj, who murdered shopkeeper Vairamutha Thiyagarajah after the shopkeeper confronted him over a theft of money from his Bedford home in April ended up in jail.
The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire major crime units joined forces in April 2012 to combine expertise on investigating the most serious offences across the three counties.
Senior investigating officers direct teams of detectives and police staff, family liaison officers, intelligence staff, analysts and forensic managers from across the three forces.
The unit, which has hubs in Huntingdon and Welwyn Garden City, has five dedicated teams investigating murders, stranger rapes, kidnap and extortion and other major inquiries which also include several cold case investigations that are constantly being reviewed for new leads and fresh evidence.
They have taken on more than 50 fresh investigations during the past 18 months including shootings, murders, hijackings and rapes.
Detective Superintendent Paul Fullwood took over as head of the Major Crime Unit (MCU) in August.
He said: "This is a huge milestone for the MCU and is testament to the dedication and determination of every officer and member of staff involved in the unit.
Everyone involved should be immensely proud that some of society's most dangerous individuals are now behind bars for a considerable amount of time.
It should be reassuring for people living in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire to know that there is such a specialised unit working hard to keep them safe and we will continue do so."
The Major Crime Unit also helped bring to justice Daniel Borgers, 41, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for raping a woman in Bedfordshire in 1992. He was caught through a DNA profile following a cold case review.