Over 3,900 hours of Warwick District Council CCTV footage was seized by Police in the hunt and arrest of convicted murderer Anthony Russell.
Following reports received in October 2020 of a missing person, Nicole McGregor from Leamington Spa, the Council’s CCTV team trawled through footage from the town centre cameras to report any sightings to the Police. The incident escalated when two people from Coventry, Julie Williams and David Williams, had been found murdered and concerns were raised for the welfare of Nicole McGregor.
Sadly, Nicole’s body was found a few days later on Newbold Comyn. The inquiry, led by West Midlands Police, became one of the biggest operations that the Council’s CCTV team had been involved with.
The team worked quickly and persistently with officers from Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Police to produce high resolution footage to assist with their inquiries. The clear images obtained showed the offender, Anthony Russell, in the company of Nicole as they walked towards Newbold Comyn. This footage was used in court by the prosecution.
Anthony Russell was sentenced on 11 March 2022 to a whole life order, meaning he will remain in prison for the rest of his life.
Councillor Judy Falp, Cabinet member for Community Protection, said: “The incredible work of our resilient CCTV team assisted in the swift arrest of Anthony Russell before he could do any more harm.
“What happened was tragic, and our thoughts remain with the victims’ families who are still dealing with the loss of their loved ones.
“CCTV is vital for reducing crime and the fear of crime across the district. The recent upgrade of our systems has allowed us to provide high-quality images for evidential purposes and can assist the authorities greatly when time is of the essence.
“Working together with Warwickshire Police and other partners such as the Warwickshire Retail Crime Initiative, our team will continue to monitor the district 24/7, keeping our residents safe.”