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An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

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When senior officers from the Met speak about Operation Grange

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An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Tony Bennett on 07.05.14 21:30

Open letter to the media from AC Mark Rowley re Operation  Grange

07 May 2014


IN BLUE: Open letter to AC Mark Rowley in reply

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“Dear media publishers and editors

This case has for some time been moving towards increased action in Portugal on the basis of Metropolitan Police Service 'International letters of request'.

Well, what Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt actually said was: “The tempo of this investigation is moving forward”. You have not said there will be ‘increased action’, just that - so you say - you are moving towards some unspecified future action.   

Whilst the process is more bureaucratic and slower than we would wish,

“It’s all the fault of the Portuguese”

you will recall at recent briefings that Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt has said that we were increasingly optimistic of that activity starting soon.

I am writing because I now believe that activity will occur in forthcoming weeks.


But, on the other hand, it might not.

You will understand that our requests for action in Portugal lead to investigative steps taking place under Portuguese law.

In other words, this remains a disappearance in Portugal, being investigated by the Portuguese, and your only remit is to ‘help’ them

In this context I have been discussing with my opposite number in the Policia Judiciara the high levels of interest that the action (especially when some of it will take place in public) will generate in the British media.

The PJ probably cottoned on to that, AC Hewitt, just over 7 years ago

I have discussed with him that it is our usual and preferred practice in this case to brief the media on an ongoing basis on such cases as that usually ensures that the activity of reporters and the coverage assists rather than damages the investigation.

That’s not correct at all, is it, AC Rowley? In British police investigations, the public are not usually given updates on an ‘ongoing basis’ but, rather, confine themselves to making media releases and calling press conferences only when the public’s help is needed.

These briefings, as you would appreciate, do not give complete detail on what the activity is (as this could compromise what we are trying to achieve), but do provide context and as much information as possible whilst still protecting the investigation.

The advice I am receiving from Portugal is that their approach is very different


“We do things the right way; they - over in Portugal - do things the wrong way”.

and they do not brief the media on current investigations. He has been clear with me that if we provide any briefings or information on the work they are undertaking on our behalf, or if reporters cause any disruption to their work in Portugal, activity will cease until that problem dissipates.

“The Portuguese authorities have firmly put us in our place. They will not let us proceed with an activity that could be really really important, in fact could be absolutely crucial, unless we stop:

  1. Giving briefings

  2. Giving out information about the work the PJ are doing and

  3. Allowing editors and reporters in your country’s media to disrupt the PJ’s work”.

You speak, AC Rowley, of ‘the work [the PJ] are undertaking on our behalf’. But earlier in your letter, you pointed out, correctly, that this is a Portuguese investigation, and your role is only to ‘help’ them.

So what you are saying is that the PJ are be prepared to stop any activity Operation Grange want to do - which you are only doing to help the PJ in the first place? In other words, the PJ are saying: “Stop all the briefings and disruption. Otherwise we won’t let you help us any more”.    

It is important you understand this and appreciate the position in which I find myself.


Oh dear! What a truly awkward position you are in! You are in danger of the PJ not allowing you to help them!

We will not be able to provide any information concerning the activity because ultimately it could mean the work stops.

“Yes, the PJ could put a complete stop to the very activity which could unlock the key to this case, or provide the missing piece of the jigsaw”.

We respect the Portuguese position as we would expect them to respect our position if we were carrying out work on their behalf in the UK.

Er, are you actually carrying out all this work on the PJ’s behalf? Did they want or ask you to do all this work for them? Did they want you to keep on pouring scorn on their investigative efforts? Did they want you to suggest that your work was so inadequate that you overlooked dozens of leads and possible suspects? Did they want you to show 6.7 million British viewers six e-fits? Did they want you to visit them 26 times in two years? Did they need a top CPS lawyer, now the Director of Public Prosecutions, to take a trip out to Portugal to advise you?  

The most important task for me is to build momentum


I thought it was to find Madeleine alive, if that were possible, or if not, to help the Portuguese find out who was responsible for Madeleine going missing, then arrest, charge and prosecute them?

and protect our investigation

‘Protect’ it from what, exactly?

given the many lines of enquiry

How many is it now? Hundreds? Thousands?

that we see are necessary in order that we can do everything possible to solve the case.

OK, so you see it as ‘necessary’ to undertake all the following actions to help solve this terrible crime - the ones that, earlier this year, on 19 March, your colleague Andy Redwood told us that he and his 38 detectives still needed to perform:

* dozens of international rogatory letters to be sent to several countries

* 41 ‘priority areas of work’ to be undertaken

* the ownership of over 11,000 mobile ’phones in 31 countries to be checked

* 287 ‘requests’

* thousands more ‘actions’, in addition to the 5,569 already taken

* 38 more ‘persons of interest’ to eliminate, 22 already having been eliminated

* 530 sex offenders to check, 61 of them ‘priority’ -

And so on.

Bedsides which he also told us about 26 trips to the Algarve, and about how his investigation had spent over £7 million already, and taken ‘over 500 statements’.  

I ask that you support me and my team in those efforts.

But the media have done precisely that for you over the past three years, haven’t they, AC Rowley? They have praised your efforts. They have called you ‘a crack team of detectives’, ‘a top Met Police team’, and so on and so forth. They have uncritically reported your claims and media releases. They have repeated your boasts about ‘pulling together three separate strands of the investigation for the first time’ (Portugal, Leicestershire and the McCanns’ private investigators). As if the likes of Francisco Marco and his sidekicks in Metodo 3 and Kevin Halligen have anything worthwhile to offer. Or maybe you think they have valuable information for you?     

This includes respecting the requests of the Portuguese authorities during the work they will be carrying out on our behalf.

Ah, so they are basically going to carry out the work, the searches, the excavations etc., on your behalf. Which, er, is actually supposed to be on their behalf, right? And basically they want you and the British media to shut up. A fat chance, when the press have made millions of pounds from bogus stories about the search for Madeleine.

As well as being aware of the dangers of disrupting the work of the Portuguese, I would also ask you to think carefully about the information you decide to put into the public domain.

And you’re telling them now? After three years?

Although we will continue not to comment on specific information, I would ask you to think twice about what impact that information or speculation might have on the investigation if it is published or broadcast.

So why have you allowed your searches e.g. for three burglars to leak out, thus giving them months to hide anything – or even themselves?

We do not want to undermine our prospects of providing Mr and Mrs McCann with answers in this tragic case.


Wouldn’t it have been better, AC Rowley, and more accurate, to say: “We do not want to undermine our prospects of finding out what really happened to Madeleine McCann?”

Collectively we all need to think carefully about our actions in this case.

Does that include whether it will really help your investigation to carry out, e.g., thousands more actions, checking 11,000 mobile ‘phone records, investigating hundreds more sex offenders etc. How likely is any of that to help trace an abductor who left no forensic traces in the McCanns’ apartment, who wasn’t seen or heard entering or leaving the apartment, and who apparently walked through an open patio door and then, before removing Madeleine, opened the shutters and a window as a ‘red herring’?

Yours sincerely

Mark Rowley”

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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Woofer on 07.05.14 21:51

Don`t believe anything anyone in authority says.

What about Hogan-Howe, only a few weeks ago, saying they had the names of the suspects and were moving in - now all that has been re-wound.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Pershing36 on 07.05.14 22:54

Truth doesn't seem to be a word that fits into this case from what I have heard of this review/investigation.

I sounds more far fetched every time a statement is made.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Atomic Peanut on 08.05.14 9:52

But it's possible they may not be telling the truth for operational reasons. A bit of tactical deception this stage won't matter if they reach the correct solution in the end.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by stillsloppingout on 08.05.14 11:06

Good work Tony .That letter and response should be CC'D to all the news desks etc.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Mirage on 08.05.14 11:26

@stillsloppingout wrote:Good work Tony .That letter and response should be CC'D to all the news desks etc.

Should be sent off licketty-splick. Forensically taken apart as it was a bit crumbly to start with ; in danger of disintegrating on close examination, in fact..  big grin 

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by AndyB on 08.05.14 12:16

@Atomic Peanut wrote:But it's possible they may not be telling the truth for operational reasons. A bit of tactical deception this stage won't matter if they reach the correct solution in the end.
The problem is that issuing misleading statements and leaking nonsense to the press doesn't achieve anything more than staying silent. Why not just shut up and get on with it?

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Snifferdog on 08.05.14 16:53

Excellent Tony.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by SixMillionQuid on 08.05.14 18:23

When they're forced to give Crecheman clothes to wear in-order for to pose for a photograph and they couldn't find a single holiday snap of Crecheman in his holiday clothes then they're lying to the public.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by tigger on 08.05.14 20:52

clapping1    TB!

Dr. Roberts,february 2013:

Last Summer Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe commented publicly upon the status of Scotland Yard's costly, on-going review of the original Madeleine McCann investigation thus: "There will be a point at which we and the Government will want to make a decision about what the likely outcome is."

Not, you will notice, what the likely outcome might be, but what it is. And what it is will, ipso facto, wear a political complexion, otherwise the Government need not, indeed should not, be involved in the decision making process at all.
Unquote

They've  already told us, two years ago.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by lj on 09.05.14 1:18

@Atomic Peanut wrote:But it's possible they may not be telling the truth for operational reasons. A bit of tactical deception this stage won't matter if they reach the correct solution in the end.

A bit of tactical deception? I would say 3 years of spouting the biggest nonsense, and still they have  and counting possible abductors to eliminate

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Atomic Peanut on 09.05.14 3:13

The only thing that matters is that they correctly solve the case. They are under no obligation to explain to the world how they're doing it.

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by tigger on 09.05.14 5:59

@Atomic Peanut wrote:The only thing that matters is that they correctly solve the case. They are under no obligation to explain to the world how they're doing it.

So why don't they shut up and stop making wildly misleading statements when nobody forces them to say anything at all.

My faith in the investigation of SY disappeared entirely at the end of April 2012 with the Panorama 'documentary'.

This must be the first instance where all the usual suspects are totally ignored and apparently everybody else on the planet is in the frame.

The latest stats include 11000  mobiles which need to be traced in over 30 different countries. Yeah, right...
Part of my fury is from pure vanity:  the SY statements can only be believed by those who need to be cared for in institutions for the mentally ill, those in care of the community and Sun readers who believe it is the voice of truth.
 splat

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Mirage on 09.05.14 8:26

Ooh, I was just about to reply to Atomic Peanut's post about suspect/ suspects, and it has completely disappeared. How does that happen Admin?

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Atomic Peanut on 09.05.14 10:44

Apologies candyfloss and Mirage, my fault - I clicked on the wrong thing and it deleted my post!!

What I said was that you can't expect the police to keep us informed of their every move or their motive for doing specific things

They may be trying to gain the confidence of a certain suspect or suspects by giving the impression that they aren't interested in them

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by Tony Bennett on 09.05.14 11:15

@Atomic Peanut wrote:What I said was that you can't expect the police to keep us informed of their every move or their motive for doing specific things
But they have.

They've told us in very great detail of the most impressive lists of lines of enquiry, actions, suspects, persons of interest, people they wish to eliminate, sex offenders, ILORs, mobile 'phone records, etc. etc.

This information has been regularly updated.

They have told us about the age-progressed sketch of Madeleine, which the British taxpayer has paid for.

They went on the telly in front of 6.7 million people and told us about...

* two different efits, said to be the same person

* four more efits of blond men

* an Irish family who said they saw someone

* a crecheman, who 'remembered' after 6 years that he'd seen someone

* a smelly bin man...

...and so on.

But over and above all of that, they have relentlessly leaked story after story from their investigation - deliberately, via Clarence Mitchell: tractorman, soothing couples, burglars, men in white vans, a man with keys, and many more. 

Contrary to their professed desire 'not to give a running commentary', what they have done in practice is...

...to give us a running commentary

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Re: An open letter to AC Mark Rowley, who wrote an open letter to the media this week

Post by listener on 09.05.14 15:22

Those who can't see that the met have been instructed to pull wool over your eyes, have wool over their eyes!

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