Complex Casework Unit (CCU)

The East of England Complex Casework Unit (CCU) houses a team of very experienced specialist lawyers who are able to advise and guide the police during complex and major investigations.

The CCU is headed up by Douglas Mackay and is based at our offices in County House, Chelmsford, Essex. It handles cases from the four police forces in the region Cambridgeshire, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

It consists of lawyers, caseworkers and administration staff who work in collaboration with the police to tackle organised and serious cross county crime, and to robustly tackle and disrupt criminal enterprises in the four counties.

The bulk of the casework arises from serious and organised crime, particularly drugs importation and distribution, including through the port of Felixstowe - one of the largest container ports in Europe; money laundering; organised crime groups; multi defendant homicide; serious fraud, usually involving a value of over £1million. Cases include at least one element of complexity such as multiple defendants, companies, victims, and/or complex financial or restraint issues.

Alongside the teams main focus on case review, deciding when and who to charge, and case progression, it also leads for the Area on the enforcement and recovery of criminal assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act. In 2013-2014 criminal assets of £3.2m were seized and in 2012 - 2013 criminal assets of £3m were seized.

Recent cases handled by the CCU include:

  • Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton, accused of helping triple murderer Joanne Dennehy, who were convicted of multiple offences at Cambridge Crown Court on 12 February 2014. Read our Gary Stretch and Leslie Layton press release.
  • Former BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Michael Souter convicted at Norwich Crown Court in October 2013 of 19 sexual offences against children, including indecent assault and buggery, and also seven charges of possession of indecent images. The offences related to seven victims aged between 11 and 16 at the time of the offending, who were abused over a period of 20 years from 1979 onwards. You can read our Michael Souter press release.
  • The first prosecution in the East of England Area for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. German national Anton Maizen was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court in August 2013 to a total of four and a half years after admitting causing the death by dangerous driving of Ronald Moughton and two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving to Mr Moughton's son Keith and to the driver of another car, Carol Boulton, following an accident on the M25 at Thurrock, Essex, in which the M25 was closed for nine hours. You can read our dangerous driving press release.