Record £200,000 reward offered in hunt for killer of Olivia Pratt-Korbel

<p>The funeral of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, was held on Thursday.</p>

The funeral of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, who was shot at her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, was held on Thursday.

A record £200,000 reward has been offered by Crimestoppers in the hunt for the killer of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.

Last week the charity’s founder and chairman Lord Ashcroft put up £50,000 for information that leads to the conviction of those responsible for the schoolgirl’s death.

On Wednesday the reward was increased thanks to the offer of £100,000 from a private donor which the peer has matched.

Olivia was fatally shot in the chest in her home in Dovecot, Liverpool, on Monday August 22.

Her mother, Cheryl Korbel, 46, was injured as the gunman chased convicted burglar Joseph Nee into their property at about 10pm.

Merseyside Police have arrested nine men as part of their investigation into her death but all have since been bailed.

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Latest on the police murder investigation

Merseyside detective chief superintendent Mark Kameen has appealed for patience as the force investigates the murder.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, he said: “I recognise that people will wonder and question why no one has been charged despite those [nine] arrests.

“If I could reassure you that this is normal practice in any complex investigation, the threshold for arresting somebody is far lower than that of charging someone. Please be patient with us. The investigation is progressing.

“The detectives involved in bringing justice for Olivia and her family are working tirelessly with real care and passion to achieve the objective of securing those charges against everyone involved in her murder. No matter how small their role.”

Officers in the investigation have worked more than 15,000 hours, trawled through thousands of hours of CCTV and investigated more than 400 pieces of intelligence passed on by the public.

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Reward for conviction of killer

Announcing Crimestoppers’s biggest single reward offer, Lord Ashcroft said: “This case has been incredibly shocking, not just for those who are directly affected but also for Liverpool and the nation as a whole.

“I am delighted that with the support of a private donor, Crimestoppers can now offer a record £200,000 for information to catch Olivia’s killer.

“A precious young life has been lost so we need every effort to find those involved in this appalling killing.”

Crimestoppers is independent of the police and takes information about crime completely anonymously.

The charity’s chief executive, Mark Hallas, said: “If you’re too scared to speak to the police, please remember that our charity, Crimestoppers, is here to help you do the right thing.

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“Tell Crimestoppers what you know whilst staying completely anonymous. Please understand: Crimestoppers has kept its promise to protect your identity since we started back in the late 1980s

“You can contact us via our website or call our UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111. Details about how to claim this reward are available online (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).

“When you contact Crimestoppers we never ask for or store personal details. All we ask is that you tell us what you know about who killed Olivia so that there can be some slow healing for her mother, her family, the city of Liverpool and everyone who has been touched by this truly awful murder.”