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Operation Shakespeare

Appeal for Information following a House Fire in Barn Mead, Harlow on 15th October 2012

Details of Incident

In 2012, a murder investigation was launched following a fire in Harlow which killed six members of the Shakoor family.


Shortly before 2am on Monday, 15 October 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 our largest enquiries under the name Operation Shakespeare. Seven people were arrested following initial enquiries but later released without further action.


We are appealling for the public's help as part of this investigation.


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


DCI Louise Metcalfe said “This investigation has never been closed, however we are building momentum behind our enquiries. These include the appeal on Crimewatch which we’re hoping 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.


Officers from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate continue to review existing enquiries.


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.

Contact Information

If you have any information, please get in contact with us.  You can complete the form below by clicking on the INFORMATION button.


You can also contact us through our website or by using our online chat service available Monday to Friday (Excluding public holidays) between 10am - 9pm.  Digital 101 service, or you can call 101.

In an emergency always call 999.


If you would like to make an anonymous report, you can contact independent charity on Twitter at @CrimestoppersUK, by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.