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Nikki police inquiry seeks better training

A POLICE inquiry ordered in the wake of a controversial murder trial yesterday recommended better training for officers who interview suspects.

Northumbria Police held the internal inquiry after George Heron, 24, was cleared at Leeds Crown Court last November of murdering Nikki Allan, seven, at Sunderland in October, 1992. He was acquitted after the trial judge refused to allow the jury to hear a taped confession on the grounds that it was unreliable and was obtained by oppressive interviewing.

The police report made eight recommendations, including calling for all officers who question suspects to be trained in the 'proper conduct of investigative interviews'.

Senior officers, their deputies and all other officers investigating serious crime should receive training 'tailored to suit the special requirements of major investigations', it said.