Swindon teenager's wish to solve a murder

Posted on 27th Nov 2019

A teenager from Swindon, who has been treated for a rare cancer, has been granted her greatest wish – to solve a murder with the help of the police!

Victoria, 14, took refuge in watching programmes and listening to podcasts about true crime during treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.

It fostered an ambition for her to become a detective and, thanks to Wiltshire Police’s Brunel Major Crime Unit and her wishgranter Rosie, Victoria became a Detective Superintendent - known as The Boss - for the day, complete with her own mug!

First, Victoria was briefed about a report that a man’s body had been found dumped on a nearby farm. Then she radioed the police officer who had been dispatched to the scene to get further details. Next, she was whizzed to the scene herself by police car to take statements from witnesses and be briefed by the Crime Scene Investigation’s Officer.

Victoria, her mum Cathy, and her two sisters her family then donned white paper investigation suits and hair nets to conduct a painstaking search of the area around the body and the vehicle that it had been transported in.

“DI Brown” then detailed off her team of specialists to follow up on various leads like the vehicle registration number. Then she briefed the investigation team back at police HQ, grilled the prime suspect in the custody suite interview rooms, dealt with new evidence when the vehicle’s owner turned up at the police station to report his car as stolen, and, finally, elicited a confession before charging the suspect and reading him his rights!

But her work wasn’t done yet. Victoria then held a press conference with police colleagues playing the roles of national and local reporters - having already done some interviews with real media!

Afterwards, she was given a Chief Constable’s citation by Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Hannant - who had masterminded the day with his colleague DI Phil Walker - for being such a good cop.

Then – back to reality – Victoria was then whisked off for dinner with the rest of her family in a limo to celebrate her wish day!

Victoria, who chose to go on her wish once treatment had finished, said: “It’s just been an amazing day. I loved it and definitely still want to be a detective.”

Mum Cathy added: “The day was something that Victoria was really looking forward to because she knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Wiltshire Police went above and beyond to set up this whole scenario for Victoria and so many of the team were involved. It was incredibly realistic, and we can’t thank them or Make-A-Wish enough for making it all happen.”

No fewer than 37 individuals from the Wiltshire force were involved in this wish whether they baked cakes, bought snacks, made cups of tea, role-played, lent their land for the ‘body’ to be dumped on or came up with the mock scenario and put together the lifelike paperwork for Victoria to complete so the charity extended them a huge thank you too.

Make-A-Wish® UK grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Since the charity was founded in the UK in 1986 it has granted almost 14,000 wishes - registered charity number: 295672/SC037479

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For more information about activities at the police station on the day, please contact:

DI Phil Walker on 07773 354923 or Media Officer Siobhan Stayt on Siobhan.Stayt@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk.

Media contact

Joanne Porter
joanne.porter@makeawish.org.uk
07739 661320
Make-A-Wish UK, 7th Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, RG1 1LX

About Make-A-Wish UK

Make-A-Wish was established in the UK in 1986 to provide the opportunity for children aged 3-17 yrs, who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, to choose and plan a special experience when so much else is dictated to them by medical treatment. A wish provides hope, something positive to look forward to and the chance to be a child first and a patient second. 

The organisation, based in Reading, receives no Government funding - registered charity numbers 295672 in England and SC037479 in Scotland - and currently has 2,000 wishes on hold because of the coronavirus.

Notes to editors

As some children and young people are not made aware of the exact nature of their diagnosis and to respect families’ own approach to their situation, we ask that the phrase ‘terminally ill’ is not used and that terms like critical or serious illness are used instead.  

Please refer to us as Make-A-Wish® UK in the first instance to distinguish us from affiliates in other countries. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable.

Please hyperlink to our website (https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk) when you mention Make-A-Wish online.

You can also find us on social media @makeawishuk