ACTIVITY around one of Essex Police’s largest murder investigations is continuing in the force's efforts to get justice for the Shakoor family.

A murder investigation was launched more than 10 years ago, after a fire in Harlow killed six members of the family.

This morning, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Metcalfe appeared on BBC Crimewatch Live to continue to appeal for the public’s help as part of this investigation.

Shortly before 2am on Monday, October 15 2012, emergency services were called to a large fire at a home in Barn Mead, Harlow.

Dr Abdul Shakoor lost his wife, Dr Sabah Usmani, and their children daughters Hira, 12 and Maheen, 3 and their sons Sohaib, 11 Muneeb, 9 and Rayyan, 6.

A murder investigation was launched by Essex Police, turning into one of the force's largest enquiries under the name Operation Shakespeare.

Seven people were arrested following initial enquiries but later released without further action.

Echo: Tragically killed - The Shakoor familyTragically killed - The Shakoor family (Image: Essex Police)

DCI Metcalfe appealed directly to the community in Harlow this morning, where it’s believed that the answers behind this tragedy remain.

She said: “This investigation has never been closed, however we are building momentum.

"We’re hoping that this morning's appeal will be watched by the people who can give us answers.

“We strongly believe that people out there know what happened. It was established quickly that the fire had been started deliberately, taking Dr Shakoor’s entire family away from him. The pain he has experienced is incomprehensible and has been made harder by the fact that he has never had answers.

“We are hoping that this morning’s appeal will lead to some further enquiries for us to get those answers.”

Officers from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate continue to review existing enquiries, including looking at the connection to a Silver Ford Focus which was found on fire close to the scene.

Detectives believe that the Shakoor family had been burgled, just prior to the fire. A black Toshiba Satellite laptop was taken from the house and has never been recovered.

The laptop was fitted with a two-pin lead because it was bought in Saudi Arabia.

The laptop bag and lead were recovered close to the scene between Whitewaits and St Michaels Close in Harlow.

Echo: Scene - the home in Barn Mead, HarlowScene - the home in Barn Mead, Harlow (Image: Essex Police)

'No matter how small, any information could help us'

DCI Metcalfe added: “Time has passed however our aim remains the same as in 2012, which is to get justice for Dr. Abdul Shakoor.

“I am appealing to anyone who may have information, no matter how small to contact us. Harlow is a strong community and a community who will want justice.

“Any information, no matter how small could help us and if you know something that you weren’t in the position to disclose back then, please contact us.

“The independent charity Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for any information which directly leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons connected to the murder investigation. This information given anonymously must be submitted through 0800 555 111 or at any time.”

“Our Major Incident Public Portal is also live, in order for people to submit information.”

To access the porta, visit

Alternatively, call Essex Police on 101 or submit an anonymous report via Crimestoppers by visiting their website or calling 0800 555 111.