DNA check on all young men in Hawkesley in taxi driver murder hunt
The DNA screening of teenagers and men on a Birmingham estate will focus on 360 homes as the hunt for the killer of a taxi driver entered a new phase.
West Mercia Police said they wanted to take the genetic fingerprint of every male aged 14 to 40 living on the Hawkesley estate in an attempt to flush out the man who murdered father-of-three Mohammed Arshad.
The 36-year-old was repeatedly stabbed in the head and left for dead in a quiet country lane on the Birmingham and Worcestershire border minutes after picking up a passenger in Kings Norton on Wednesday, July 22.
His blue Ford Galaxy private hire vehicle was found locked and parked about a mile away in Shannon Road, Hawkesley.
West Mercia Police said officers wanted to take fingerprints, photographs and mouth swabs of every male aged from 14 to 40 on the Hawkesley estate.
The samples would then be compared to evidence recovered from the scene.
Detectives have identified three priority areas to target for DNA screening.
They will begin by focusing on just 360 homes on the estate, built by the council in the 1970s to house people moved out by the clearance of back-to-back housing in inner-city suburbs.
They will then radiate out into two other areas.
It is thought it could take up to six weeks to complete the screening of people. They have the right to decline to give any or all of the samples that police want to take but officers are hoping if they have nothing to hide they will be forthcoming.
The use of DNA screening is a rarely-used forensic aid but it has proved successful in the past.
Det Supt Sheila Thornes, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “We are keeping an open mind as to the motive of the killing.”