An award-winning Lancashire Evening Post reporter is to head up a new investigations unit launched by Johnston Press.

Aasma Day leads a team comprising journalists from across the regional publisher’s titles, including the Sheffield Star’s Chris Burn and Ruby Kitchen from the Yorkshire Post & the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The front page of today's Sheffield Star

The front page of today’s Sheffield Star

It has launched with a ‘Drive for Justice’ report about lenient sentences for those convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, and how no-one in the UK has ever received the maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment.

The publisher says that as well as carrying out investigations, the unit will have a “campaigning and lobbying role at its heart”, and will be launching a petition later this week, calling for tighter sentences and other legal changes.

Aasma Day, investigative reporter & lifestyle editor at the Lancashire Evening Post, said: “The team feels it is crucial to ensure reports like Drive for Justice are absolutely front of mind – that though our papers and websites we’re raising awareness of the issues that really matter in our communities. These are local stories of national interest and our ambition is to pool our resources and talents to enable us to deliver quality and exclusive content on important issues that all of our readers really care about.”

Jeremy Clifford, editor-in-chief at Johnston Press, said: “Investigative journalism – and holding those in authority to account – is at the very core of our business and of the communities we serve. We’ve seen the impact and benefits that campaigns supported by local titles can deliver and the lives that can change.

“By sharing high quality, powerful special reports, data journalism pieces and investigations across our portfolio – which now includes the i paper – we can deliver compelling investigations and demand real results that can ultimately change the law and people’s lives.”

The first investigation launches with a front page and inside content for Johnston Press titles including the Lancashire Evening Post, The Yorkshire Evening Post, the Sheffield Star and the Yorkshire Post.