Tenacity earns award

DETECTIVE Sergeant Christie Houldin never gives up on justice. She investigates all types of crime cases — current, historical and cold.

A historical case is when a crime was committed some time ago but has just been recently reported.

A cold case has been investigated but is reopened when new evidence emerges.

Detective Sergeant Houldin recently received the NSW Police south-west metropolitan region award for her work on a Liverpool historical sexual assault which occurred in the 1970s.

As part of her investigation, Detective Sergeant Houldin researched and tracked evidence and information to support the victim's statement and version of events. This included searching residential addresses, schools, government records and events current when the crime was committed.

She also had to track down people to interview for statements.

The process can take longer than a year, depending on the availability of evidence.

In this case, it took almost 18 months to gather enough evidence and information to warrant an arrest and lay charges.

"It's our job to give as much supporting evidence to assist and verify the victim's version," Detective Sergeant Houldin said.

"Historical cases aren't easy to investigate.

"You have to build a case around the victim's statement and obtaining that information and evidence can be hard when the crime occurred some time ago."

Detective Sergeant Houldin said no matter how long ago a crime was committed, in some cases a victim never stops being a victim.

"It's not only satisfying for you but for the victims, too, especially when you see the relief on their faces," she said. "You're helping them step towards their healing."

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