DORSET Police has 12 unsolved murders on its books, latest figures have revealed.

A recent Freedom of Information request revealed the killers of 1,143 people across the UK have yet to be found.

Now officers have pledged to continue their fight to bring their killers to justice.

And they hope advances in forensic techniques, including DNA technology, will help them.

All but six of the 43 police forces in England and Wales admitted they have unsolved cases. The Metropolitan Police force has the most with 341.

In Dorset, the most recent case is that of Heather Barnett, a 42-year-old mum-of-two whose body was found in the bathroom of her flat in Capstone Road, Charminster, in November 2002.

Recent developments in the case have led police to believe they are closer than ever to arresting and charging someone with her vicious murder.

In May 2001, father-of-two Clive Wilcox died after being punched during an altercation with a group of youths outside the One Stop store in Wimborne Road, Winton.

The 42-year-old lift engineer’s killer is still on the loose, largely due to a wall of silence faced by police investigating the case.

In July 2000, 74-year-old grandmother Beatrice Wilson was stabbed at least 10 times as she lay defenceless on her bed in sheltered accommodation at Millfield, Creekmoor.

A 17-year-old boy was charged with her murder but was found not guilty. No one else has been charged.

And the body of Benjamin Rumney was found in a wardrobe in his Gillingham flat following a fire there in February 1996.

The murder of Jo Ramsden, a young girl with Down’s Syndrome who went missing from Bridport in April 1991, has never been officially solved.

A man was charged after her body was found a year later, but the case remains on file after his conviction for similar offences.

Numerous appeals for information have failed to shed any light on the brutal murder of John Green, a 36-year-old stabbed in a frenzied attack in his Branksome office in February 1991.

A huge reward, artist’s impressions and an appearance on Crimewatch failed to find his killer.

Sandra Court’s body was found dumped in a shallow river at Avon Causeway, Hurn in May 1986, just months before one of Britain’s most high-profile cases, the disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in London.

Parallels have been drawn between the two cases but no one has been convicted for either.

Samuel Williamson was killed and his body set alight in Cotlands Road, Bournemouth, in August 1988. A man was charged and faced trial 18 years later but was acquitted by a jury at Winchester Crown Court.

A newborn baby girl found washed up in a bag on Weymouth beach, in 1981, died from compression of the neck, although she was judged to have been healthy when born. A recent review of the case failed to trace her killer.

Rose Lifely’s body was found at her home in Bournemouth in May 1971 – she had been stabbed.

In 1962, taxi driver Stanley Blackmoor was found stabbed to death in Yetminster and the body of Emily Tharme was found in Wheelers Lane, Bournemouth, in January 1960.

As ever, police have urged anyone with information about any of the cases to contact them on 01202 222222 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.