Chasing a picture: how police snared attacker

This image released two days after the attack ultimately led to the arrest of James Hemming
This image released two days after the attack ultimately led to the arrest of James Hemming
Police

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MAJOR manhunts usually focus on finding a known person.

But detectives from Hampshire Constabulary’s Major Crime Team was left just ‘chasing a picture’ of James Hemming on CCTV.

Ultimately 3,000 hours of additional duties were clocked by 15 teams of police. Around 80 officers worked on the team at its most intense.

Senior investigating officer Liz Williams told The News how ‘super-recognisers’ from the Met Police were used to examine 1,000 hours of CCTV from 250 cameras.

‘What we had here was a picture without a name,’ she said.

‘Chasing a picture for a couple of weeks is very intense.’

Starting with an image of Hemming fleeing the scene near the Shearer Arms pub, CID officers were able to link him to other CCTV.

On April 21, 10 days after the incident, the Met’s special unit was brought in.

Hemming, via CCTV from the O2 shop where he topped up his phone in Commercial Road, was eventually linked to a car at the car park below his flat.

Eighteen days after the attack he was declared a suspect and arrested.

‘Once we got him arrested there was a huge feeling of relief,’ Det Ch Insp Williams told The News.

‘He was arrested on the way home from work, he’d just got home. From what we know he’d been carrying on his life.’