At the time of the original Fred West investigation and in response to the 2012 online petition, it was deemed there was insufficient evidence that Mary Bastholm was buried at the location.

The reasons behind the 2012 decision were documented in an open letter from former Chief Constable Tony Melville. In the letter he addressed all the points that had been raised. He also stated that if any fresh evidence came to light, Gloucestershire Constabulary would welcome the opportunity of reviewing it and taking appropriate action.

Potential new evidence has come to light recently and we are currently carrying out extensive enquiries as a result.

The Fred West inquiry was the biggest investigation the Constabulary has ever undertaken but also the most harrowing and we are proud of the professionalism, dedication and sensitivity shown by all those who were involved in it at the time.

The case has left an indelible mark on so many in Gloucester, but for those who worked on the case what they dealt with will live with them forever.

During the course of the investigation into Mary Bastholm’s disappearance over 250 different lines of enquiry were pursued. Following a complete review of the missing person file during the West inquiry, over 100 people were interviewed.

Some people in the original enquiry, who may have been of assistance, were found to have died. Despite these enquiries no evidence was found at the time to support arresting Fred West in connection with Mary Bastholm.

Fred West was questioned about her disappearance in interview but he denied any involvement. He said that Heather West was his last victim and that he had committed no other murders.

During his last interview at Gloucester Police Station on 13 May 1994, Fred West denied he had anything to do with the murder.

Fred West was interviewed on a total of 151 occasions. The total length of these interviews was approximately 110 hours.

The Constabulary’s current focus is the potential evidence discovered by the production company at the Clean Plate cafe last week and that is where our resources are being directed. We plan to continue forensic assessments at the location until Monday, before a more considered decision around the extent of excavation can be made.