How a major enquiry shaped the future of victim care in Bedfordshire


A new sexual assault referral centre (SARC) for Bedfordshire has been heralded as a centre of excellence in the provision of facilities for victims of rape and sexual assault.

A standalone, purpose-designed facility, it contains two state-of-the art, fully equipped forensic examination suites which, while being technically compliant, are designed to put victims at ease by having a less clinical ambience than a hospital or medical centre. The centre also boasts tailored facilities for adults, teens and children, and working spaces for SARC staff and police officers.

But roll the clock back three decades and you’d see a very different landscape in the investigation of such cases, and in victim care.

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“It’s just a burglary….. Isn’t it?

In April 2015, DC Dave Brecknock was assigned to investigate a burglary at a house on a country estate, just outside Luton. Little did he know the case would take almost four years to reach a conclusion. 

Dave tells us about the case, a story worthy of a Hollywood movie plot, involving antiques, fraud and collaboration with international law enforcement.

DC Dave Brecknock

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“As a detective I’ve seen the very best of humanity, but also the very worst…”

I was born in Luton and have always lived and worked in Bedfordshire. I was proud to join my local force, Bedfordshire Police, in 1990 to serve my community and to try and make a difference.

My parents owned a sports shop and wanted me to take over the family business, but I always knew that I wanted to be a police officer having been brought up watching TV programmes like Juliette Bravo and Cagney & Lacey; tough female role models who always managed to protect the public and lock up the baddies.

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