Sussex Police tactics questioned in DNA screening during Valerie Graves murder hunt

Valerie Graves
Valerie Graves
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THE tactics of murder squad detectives carrying out a mass DNA screening have been questioned.

There has been fierce debate in Bosham over recent weeks as Sussex police have been doing voluntary DNA screenings as part of their hunt for the murderer of Valerie Graves.

The operation aimed to eliminate some of the 5,000 men connected to the harbourside village.

Officers have knocked on doors, made phone calls and sent letters to residents to remind them to give samples, which has led to some negative feelings.

One man said he felt ‘harassed’ after being visited, called and sent a letter.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, received a letter from Detective Sergeant Duncan Elliott, mass screening manager, which said: ‘We are asking for you to help us catch Valerie Graves’ murderer by conclusively eliminating yourself from the enquiry.’

The man said: ‘I got a phone call the day before as well. It seems like you’re being harassed.’

Another resident said: ‘I felt as though I was being treated as a suspect.’

Detectives said all samples will only be used for the investigation in question and they will not appear on any database.

The grandmother was murdered five days after her 55th birthday. She was found dead at a home she was house-sitting in Bosham on December 30, 2013.