New hope in cold cases

YESTERDAY marked five years since Campbell Town man Shane Barker was gunned down by an unknown assailant in his own home.

No one has been charged with the 36-year-old’s murder.

However, with the extra 108 police officers the state government has promised to employ during its first term in office, there is hope for the Barker family and other relatives of cold case victims that a boost in resources will make a difference.

The government has promised to establish a Serious and Organised Crime Squad of 14 dedicated officers to combat major crimes.

Last month, Tasmania Police confirmed it had filled two positions of the 14-person squad.

The government promised to invest $7.2 million to resource the initiative, which will incorporate a re-established Cold Case Unit.

A government spokeswoman said yesterday that cold cases continued to be investigated by detectives in police districts.

‘‘As capability increases within the force there will be greater capacity to resource specialised units, such as the Cold Case Unit, as determined by the commissioner,’’ the spokeswoman said.

Police urge anyone with information about cold cases and other crimes to call Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

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