A MAJOR inquiry into scores of serious, unsolved crimes has been launched after police reinvestigating the murder of Emma Caldwell uncovered a catalogue of alleged offences.
The huge investigation has been ordered into potential crimes including serious assaults and sexual violence after detectives re-examined more than 1,000 statements given to the original inquiry 13 years ago.
None of the catalogue of allegations made in the statements appear to have been pursued by the team of detectives initially investigating the still-unsolved murder of Emma, 27, in 2005.
Yesterday, her mother, Margaret Caldwell, said she hoped the new inquiry would deliver justice for other forgotten victims.
She said: “Above all, I would like to see justice for Emma but I would be happy if the inquiry into her death might also give justice to other women and other victims.
“After all these years, that would be a good thing. I’m sure Emma would be happy, too. She’d have wanted that to happen.”
A source said: “This is a major inquiry which will run separately from the murder investigation.
“It will follow up on evidence of crime in statements given during the original inquiry.
“Because of the nature of that inquiry, some relate to potential offences against women working in the red light district at that time, but by no means all.”
The new investigation into the allegations uncovered will be led by Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal.
Her inquiry will be supported by officers from the force’s specialist crime division and specialist agencies and organisations, including Rape Crisis Scotland, the Glasgow-based Women’s Support Project and SACRO.
DCS Boal said: “We are currently investigating a number of potential reports of criminality of a violent and sexual nature. These have been highlighted following the reinvestigation of the murder of Emma Caldwell.
“Police Scotland is committed to tackling crime and works closely with a range of partners to reduce the risk of harm and offer support to victims, whose needs are at the forefront of our approach.
“We understand people may be reluctant to contact the police, however all victims will be treated with the utmost respect and advocacy and support services are at hand to assist with police engagement.”
She added: “We are committed to ensuring that when complaints are received relating to rapes, sexual offences and other crimes they will be investigated in a robust and proper manner, regardless of when they were committed and who committed them.”
Although the statements under examination were given in 2005 and 2006, some detail potential crimes dating back several years. Some of the allegations, it is understood, relate to incidents in the 1970s.
The new operation is the latest in a series of inquiries relating to Emma’s murder.
The original murder investigation, one of the longest and most expensive ever mounted in Scotland, led to the arrest of four Turkish men but the case against them collapsed.
In 2015, 10 years after Emma’s death, police were ordered to reopen the inquiry after a newspaper revealed a forgotten suspect. The three-year inquiry, led by Detective Superintendent David McLaren, reported to prosecutors last month, naming a single suspect. The Crown Office is currently considering the next steps.
Another team of detectives were ordered to investigate the management of the original inquiry.
Meanwhile, watchdogs investigated then condemned the unlawful attempts by Police Scotland to identify the sources of journalists’s sources by seizing phone and email records of former and serving officers.
Emma, 27, from Erskine, Renfrewshire, went missing after leaving the hostel where she lived on Glasgow’s south side in April 2005.
Her body was found in woods in Roberton, Lanarkshire, 45 minues from Glasgow, where she was last seen.