West Yorkshire's most senior detective has made a scathing attack on the use of the Human Rights Act by murderers and rapists to protect themselves from UK law.

Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Gregg said dangerous criminals were trying to use the legislation to complain about their own human rights being breached.

Mr Gregg was speaking out only days before he leaves his post as head of West Yorkshire Police's Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) to take up a senior position with LGC Forensics, one of the biggest forensic science service providers in the country.

He said: "These criminals have committed such appalling crimes and it is the families of the victims and the bereaved who are left behind and have to suffer the indignity of hearing them claim their human rights have been breached.

"It is such an appalling situation."

Det Ch Supt Gregg said he was not calling for the legislation to be scrapped but it needed to be used in a "balanced" way.

He said: "We have lost sight of the needs of the victims and the families here.

"It is deeply offensive when murderers and rapists use it (Human Rights Act) and look for a loophole to only assist themselves."

Det Ch Supt Gregg led the team that tracked down former US Marine David Bieber, who murdered traffic officer Ian Broadhurst, of Birkenshaw, in Leeds on Boxing Day 2003. Bieber is appealing against his whole-life sentence, arguing it breaches his human rights.

The officer, who leaves the force after 33 years, began his working life as a detective constable on the Yorkshire Ripper inquiry.

Under his stewardship, HMET investigated the West Yorkshire end of the 7/7 bombings and the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky. Mustaf Jamma, a Somalian who is charged with PC Beshenivsky's murder, had previously avoided deportation to his home country as it had been considered too dangerous.

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