Forensic Strategy in Cold Case Reviews
Steve Wilkins, Retired Detective Chief Superintendent,
SIO Operation Ottawa
Former Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins retired from the Police in 2012, after 33 years police
service, 30 as a detective. Steve joined Cheshire Police in 1980 before transferring to Dyfed Powys in 1992.
He has been a member of both the ACPO Homicide Working Group and the ACPO Kidnap and Extortion
Group, developing policy and best practice in this important area of policing.
During his service he has been the SIO on numerous murder investigations which have included that of a
serving police officer and the murder of a British national in Thailand. Between 2006 and 2011, he led
Operation Ottawa which was a cold case review into two double murders and an attack on 5 children which
took place between 1985 and 1996 in Pembrokeshire, West Wales . This investigation resulted in the
conviction of John William Cooper for all offences and received national recognition as one of the finest
investigations in the history of British policing and best practice for homicide cold case reviews.
Operation Ottawa was recently made into a 3 part TV drama for ITV and has been the subject of many TV
documentaries. Forensic evidence and the relationship between the investigation team and scientists was a
critical success factor in Operation Ottawa.