A FORMER police officer and York academic has shared his thoughts on the decade-long investigation into Claudia's disappearance.

Martin Holleran is senior lecturer in Policing Studies at York St John University. He served for 30 years with police forces including North Yorkshire, and said Claudia's disappearance was still regularly spoken about.

Mr Holleran said: "It would be wrong to refer to Claudia Lawrence as a case. Claudia is a person, someone who is loved very much by her family and someone who is greatly missed by her friends and colleagues."

Mr Holleran has lived and worked around York for three years, and said he had personal and professional interests in Claudia's disappearance.

He said: "Claudia went missing six months before my daughter started her degree at the University of York, where Claudia worked as a chef. We visited the university in the summer, on my birthday, and ate in the dining room where she worked. It was early days in the investigation and still a topic of conversation. My wife and I were concerned for my daughter’s safety.

"I introduce all new Police Studies students to the disappearance of Claudia and the work that her father Peter has done in helping people whose family members are missing. Yes, I know that from over 30 years experience of policing, the disappearance of an individual, particularly a person who may have come to harm, is often quickly resolved and if the worst has happened then there is usually an arrest, a charge and someone is brought before a court. On this occasion and in other high profile incidents, such as Suzy Lamplugh, no-one has been charged in connection with the disappearance.

"I asked a colleague, who had been a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), how does it make the team feel when they are unable to bring someone before a court. He said that it was deeply frustrating, not necessarily due to not catching the offender, but more so that you feel you have failed in your duty to support the family. You cannot bring a person back, but what you can do is show the family that you have done your duty, that you care and that you have allowed them to face the accused in a court of law."

Mr Holleran also praised the work of the Family Liaison Officers who work with families of missing people, for months or even years as a case progresses, and he has known FLOs who maintain regular contact "some 15, 20 years down the line".

However, he said despite the decade since Claudia's disappearance, resolution could not be written off completely.

He said: "Often, the longer the investigation goes on in an incident such as this, the more difficult it becomes to gain the evidence needed. It is not always the case, allegiances change, people sometimes can no longer live with the guilt of knowing.

"I am sure that all those police officers and staff that have been involved with the investigation, either directly, or indirectly, feel the frustration and want to see justice for Claudia and her family. Where could the investigation go from here, 10 years on? Bringing it back into the media is important. It could bring someone forward. Consider a full Cold Case Review, even from outside of the force area. The police service have conflicting demands. It is hard to keep the level of investigation going when new threats emerge, such as Modern Day Slavery, Human Trafficking, child sexual exploitation and terrorism. The police have a fine balancing act when there is less money, less resources and more demand."

Mr Holleran said he had "a great deal of respect for all those that have worked so hard trying to find Claudia", and he will continue to urge his students to "consider the impact of when someone goes missing in a community and if they join the police service, how they would treat those affected".

He said: "I will still think of her and her family every time I go past her house and I will continue to hope that one day Claudia is found, and if anyone is responsible for her disappearance, that they are brought to justice and her family can find some sort of peace."

North Yorkshire Police have vowed never to give up on Claudia and her family. Read the story here. See a full timeline of events over 10 years here.