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Morcombe pushes for national cold case squad

Bruce and Denise Morcombe at the Homicide Awareness Day in Brisbane. The shoes represent those who have been murdered.
Bruce and Denise Morcombe at the Homicide Awareness Day in Brisbane. The shoes represent those who have been murdered. Rae Wilson

QUEENSLAND'S top cop believes Bruce Morcombe's push for a national cold case squad is worth considering.

But Commissioner Ian Stewart said no one should underestimate the power of the passion from investigators who "have owned that crime for a long, long time".

"It's that passion that comes out, that formidable and relentless pursuit of justice for the victims," he said.

"But certainly any suggestion about how we could better do business is always worth considering."

Mr Morcombe, speaking at a Homicide Awareness Day in Brisbane on Thursday, said he and wife Denise had met many dozens of family members of homicide victims and long-term missing person who had been waiting a lifetime for answers.

Having been able to find their son Daniel, 13, and finally lay him to rest nine years after he went missing, he said it was their mission to help as many other families as they could.

Mr Morcombe said a national cold case squad would enable "fresh eyes" outside the state of origin to look through the evidence without the baggage from former investigators.

He suggested "perhaps" the Australian Federal Police could "pick up the slack" and make a difference to long-term unsolved cases.

"We have met many dozens of ordinary Australians, 80-year-old parents, brothers and sisters now in their 50s, who have been patient for over 40 years," he said.

"I think it is time perhaps that consideration be given to a cold case unit on a national basis.

"That's not being reflective or critical of anything that Queensland Police Service have done; indeed they have done a tremendous job finding Daniel's (alleged) assailant and having him arrested.

"Western Australian police did an enormous job as well.

"But we all know there are cases in Queensland and many, many outside our state borders that need our attention.

"The challenge is, in a federal election year, should we look at going down the path of having the AFP run a cold case squad that can probably solve some of these cases that we're so desperate to solve?"

Police Minister Jack Dempsey said Queensland already had a cold case unit within its police force.

He also noted QPS had "one of the closest working relationships" with all the other states and territories as well as abroad.

Topics:  bruce and denise morcombe cold case ian stewart


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