Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Fresh probe into policeman's murder

Police inspector Bill Elliot, who died after he was shot while investigating a bank raid at a branch of Ulster Bank in Belfast in 1974

Detectives in Northern Ireland have launched a fresh investigation into the murder of a police officer shot in a bank raid nearly 40 years ago.

Inspector Bill Elliott was driving on his own when he heard news that a robbery was under way at the Ulster Bank in the Rathcoole area of Belfast in September 1974.

The 48-year-old, who was married with a son, raced to the scene and died after a shoot-out with republicans from the Official IRA who detectives said were armed with two submachine guns and a pistol.

Inspector Elliott was posthumously awarded the Queen's Police Medal.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch revealed it has now reopened the case after a review of the killing by the police Historical Enquiries Team (HET) found potential new leads.

The HET is re-examining killings from the Troubles, and in many cases provides bereaved families with reports on the murders, but it also alerts detectives to any new lines of investigation.

Detective Superintendent Jonathan Roberts said: "Certainly there are new lines of inquiry opening up to us and developing. It's an overall reassessment of the case."

He added: "I don't wish to discuss specific new lines of inquiry because they are active lines of inquiry and to disclose them prematurely might compromise the case."

The police have released pictures of the scene of the bank shooting, as well as of the gang's getaway car, though investigators said they no longer have the vehicle.

Detectives have asked anyone with information to call 02890 700303.

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