Maddie search expanded as effort branded PR exercise
● Crime WorldBy Donal MacIntyre
The search for Maddie McCann is to be expanded into a second week as UK Police have been given a second week to search a large area of scrubland and two other sites, as the effort is branded a PR exercise.
The search, which was criticised yesterday for lacking a focus and direction has now been expanded to include another two sites close to the location where Maddie disappeared in 2007.
The search, part of a €10m investigation launched in 2011 by the Metropolitan Police Force at the instigation of the British Prime Minister has yielded no significant evidence that could lead to an arrest or charges or done anything to help reveal exactly what happened to Maddie seven years ago when she mysteriously disappeared without trace from apartment 5a in Praia da Luz.
The investigation was started as the Metropolitan Police Force faced a growing wave of public discontent over corruption allegations and cover-ups, and face even more damaging revelations in the months to come, over the continuing fall out from the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry.
Sources in the Met have told the Sunday World that the investigation is a desperate attempt to reclaim the reputation of the force with a trophy case and a result which, the force hopes, will put its troubles behind it.
“It is a distraction. There are hundreds of missing children in London who have not been found and why we should be spending millions on searching for a child who went missing in another country I don’t know. Why isn’t this money being spent on the other missing children?”, the anonymous detective told the Sunday World.
The investigation led by Detective Inspector Andy Redwood is now nearly two years old and will have to deliver results soon before the public and critics ask questions about a seemingly open ended investigation with a blank cheque for one missing child, while so many other missing person cases in the UK are given a fraction of the resources to help find them.
The Met asked the Portuguese authorities for permission to search three sites and its original search was due to be completed on Friday.
Cold Case specialist, Alan Bailey, claims that the three sites over many acres, with 12 locations for specific ground penetration radar searches, is simply shooting in the dark because it is impossible to search the areas fully and forensically in such a short time, even with the extra seven days.
“The search lacks focus and direction. There is clearly no specific leads or intelligence beyond a traditional geographic profiler’s suggestion of possible locations where a preferential paedophile may have dumped a body or possible evidence”, he told the Sunday World.
The sites were all checked previously in the immediate days after the disappearance of Maddie and any chance of discovering buried material or disturbed soil were much greater then than seven years later, he said.
The search areas totaling up to 15 acres according to one source, simply does not inspire confidence that the investigation is on the brink of a break through.
Every time the Met promises a major breakthrough it risks damaging its position.
“Cold case investigators should dampen expectations and only promise to do all it can to bring a fresh set of eyes to a case. It is dangerous and upsetting to raise people’s expectations’, the former head of the Irish Cold Case unit told the Sunday World.
The force will face considerable difficulty if it fails to deliver after this last ditch attempt to solve this very difficult case with these new searches.
There is some concerns that f there is no significant movement in the investigation it may be forced to push for arrests which may not be merited.
The Met will look for a face saving exercise and by pushing for arrests that the Portuguese authorities may not support, could give them a neutral way out.
By promising to solve the case in a fire engine fashion, overtaking and by implication deriding the work of other investigators on the case, then it has perhaps, set itself up to fail and to fall from a great height.
"WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER" - Rebekah Brooks to David Cameron
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I think small Ireland is (rightly) p'd off with the way small Portugal is being treated by one of the Big Beasts of the EU - the UK.
The peripheral nations of the EU need to give each other support.
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"And if Madeleine had hurt herself inside the apartment, why would that be our fault?" Gerry
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Interesting sentence !
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@aiyoyo wrote:There is some concerns that f there is no significant movement in the investigation it may be forced to push for arrests which may not be merited.[/unquote]
Interesting sentence !
Portuguese Police source confirms :
Initial request by the Met was to question "three prime suspects", thought to be burglars who may have carried out raids in the holiday resort and live locally,
As many as eight could now be on the Mets interview list.
All the suspects are still resident in Portugal, and are 'mostly Portuguese'
Questioning to take place after the current phase of the investigation, which will expand to new sites on Wednesday and finish "no later than next Friday".
No approval is required from prosecutors to question the suspects and the decision rests solely on PJ police, the source said.
The people police want to talk to would be immediately constituted as "arguidos" – or formal suspects – and would not be questioned as mere witnesses.
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I'm thinking that too.
Give them all the rope they want.
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Irresponsible parenting and irresponsible policing woke the world up.
Now proper grown-up questions are being asked about this shambles all over the globe. How they will escape the sheer embarrassment of it after seven years of "bungling cops" insults to Portugal, God only knows. If Donal McIntyre is right in his article, SY is set crawl back to the UK with tapas smeared all over their faces.
Even if the Mcs are never charged with anything, the millions they spent of other people's money trying to resurrect their reputation has proved a failure of monumental proportions. And that may be the only, yet the most potent, form of punishment for two parents who pushed the public too far.
All of the above, my opinion only.
Kate McCann: "It's too 'ot. Give 'im a minute."
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