NORTHUMBRIA’S Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness is set to commission a full independent review of the complaint made in relation to the police investigation into the murder of Sunderland school girl Nikki Allan.

In May 2023, David Boyd, 55, was found guilty of beating seven-year-old Nikki Allan with a brick and stabbing her in a disused building in Sunderland. His conviction came after the re-opening of Northumbria Police’s investigation in 2017 – where advances in DNA testing revealed a link to Nikki Allan’s ex-neighbour, Boyd.

Northumbria Police initially prosecuted another of Nikki’s neighbours, George Heron, but he was cleared of murder in 1993. Northumbria Police has previously apologised for failures.

Kim McGuinness has previously said she can only imagine the impact the wait for justice has had on Nikki’s family and yesterday she met in person with Nikki’s mother, Sharon Henderson, to discuss her experience.

In her role as Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness is required to act as the public’s voice in policing in Northumbria and put in place the appropriate scrutiny to ensure the force is being effectively held to account.

During yesterday’s meeting with the family, Kim McGuinness said she planned to commission an independent organisation to conduct a review of any formal complaint made by the family.

The Commissioner has issued the following statement:

“More than 30 years ago, Sharon Henderson and her family suffered an incredible loss when Nikki Allan was murdered. Their long wait for justice has only compounded their pain.

“Northumbria Police has always remained committed to finding the person responsible, and officers showed that dedication when they used new forensic techniques to finally secure a conviction for Nikki Allan’s murder.

“Hard-working officers brought justice to this case. However, questions remain for Sharon and her family, including over the initial investigation. I agree that Sharon deserves answers. 

“Once the formal complaint is received from the family, I will invite an independent organisation in to review the complaint.

“A process such as this will take time, but Sharon and her family will finally get the answers they need.”