Shakoor Murders: Essex Police make appeal on BBC Crimewatch

Crime / Wed 20th Mar 2024 at 04:36pm

ACTIVITY around one of Essex Police’s largest murder investigations is continuing, in efforts to get justice for the Shakoor family from Harlow.

In 2012, a murder investigation was launched following a fire in Harlow which killed six members of the Shakoor family. 

Shortly before 2am on Monday, 15 October 2012, emergency services were called to a large fire at a home in Barn Mead, Harlow.

Dr Abdul Shakoor lost his wife, Dr Sabah Usmani and their children daughters Hira, 12 and Maheen, 3 and their sons Sohaib, 11 Muneeb, 9 and Rayyan, 6.

A murder investigation was launched by Essex Police, turning into one of our largest enquiries under the name Operation Shakespeare. Seven people were arrested following initial enquiries but later released without further action.

This morning (20 March), Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe appeared on BBC Crimewatch Live to continue to appeal for the public’s help as part of this investigation. 

DCI Louise Metcalfe appealed directly to the community in Harlow, where it’s believed that the answers behind this tragedy remain. 

DCI Louise Metcalfe said “This investigation has never been closed, however we are building momentum. 

“We’re hoping that this morning’s appeal will be watched by the people who can give us answers.  

“We strongly believe that people out there know what happened. It was established quickly that the fire had been started deliberately, taking Dr Shakoor’s entire family away from him. The pain he has experienced is incomprehensible and has been made harder by the fact that he has never had answers.

“We are hoping that this morning’s appeal will lead to some further enquiries for us to get those answers.”

Officers from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate continue to review existing enquiries, including looking at the connection to a Silver Ford Focus which was found on fire close to the scene.

Detectives believe that the Shakoor family had been burgled, just prior to the fire. A black Toshiba Satellite laptop was taken from the house and has never been recovered. The laptop was fitted with a two-pin lead because it was bought in Saudi Arabia.

The laptop bag and lead were recovered close to the scene between Whitewaits and St Michaels Close in Harlow. 

A neighbour’s car was also set alight just yards away from the Shakoor family home on the night of the house fire.

Both of the incidents are being linked by officers.

DCI Metcalfe added “Time has passed however our aim remains the same as in 2012, which is to get justice for Dr. Abdul Shakoor. 

“I am appealing to anyone who may have information, no matter how small to contact us. Harlow is a strong community and a community who will want justice.  

“Any information, no matter how small could help us and if you know something that you weren’t in the position to disclose back then, please contact us.

“The independent charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for any information which directly leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons connected to the murder investigation. This information given anonymously must be submitted through 0800 555 111 or Crimestoppers-uk.org at any time.”

“Our Major Incident Public Portal is also live, in order for people to submit information.” 

To access the Major Incident Public Portal click here: Public Portal (mipp.police.uk)

If you have any information, please get in contact with us. You can contact us through our Digital 101 service, or you can call 101.  

Alternatively if you would like to make a report anonymously, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.

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1 Comment for Shakoor Murders: Essex Police make appeal on BBC Crimewatch:

2024-03-21 07:30:19

How could anyone live with themselves, killing children and their mother.

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