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    Madeleine McCann investigation: The mistakes

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    Sykes

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    Join date : 2011-07-17

    Madeleine McCann investigation: The mistakes

    Post  Sykes on Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:43 am

    A colossal number of mistakes were made in the first hours of Madeleine's disappearance and even more in the days and months that followed.

    Shockingly, after 10 fruitless years, it seems as though very little has been learned and the same mistakes would probably be made if there was another disappearance of a young child on the Algarve.

    Despite police being immediately told that Madeleine had been taken by somebody, and therefore the apartment where she had been staying was a crime scene, the flat was not taped off until the early hours of the following morning, May 4, which was far too late to protect vital forensic evidence from being lost or damaged.

    In the tense and chaotic scenes that followed the alarm being raised, all sorts of people trudged in and out of the apartment, leaving traces of their DNA all over the place and allowing the wind in to disturb material - hairs and skin cells - which could have yielded key information.

    People looking for the child or comforting Kate and Gerry touched light switches, door handles, cups and glasses, all of which could have been touched by the abductor, who was not believed to have been wearing gloves.

    Astonishingly Madeleine's beloved Cuddle Cat toy, which still remained on her bed, was not placed into a plastic bag and taken away, even though the kidnapper must have moved the nighttime comforter when taking Madeleine from the bedroom.

    Such oversights would have cost the jobs of crime scene investigators in this country but in Portugal hardly an eyebrow was raised.

    At a neighbouring apartment development a CCTV camera was perched by a roadway and would have captured images of the kidnapper holding Madeleine if he had taken that route, which seems likely.

    However, woefully poor policing meant officers arrived far too late at the complex to retrieve the images, which had been wiped.

    Attempts to get CCTV from businesses and restaurants in the small seaside town were slow and sporadic.

    Leicestershire police sent three liaison officers to Portugal but what the Polícia Judiciária really needed was a top class forensic unit from Britain to scour the apartment for the missing nuggets of forensic clues.

    Scotland Yard sent an officer who spoke Portuguese but what they really needed were dogs trained in picking up scents and others trained in detecting blood and cadavers.

    They also needed experts in searches, so that every square inch of rough ground in the immediate vicinity of the crime would be examined. Scotland Yard eventually searched a large area of rough ground in 2014, seven years after Madeleine vanished.

    Identifying local businessman Robert Murat as a potential suspect on the basis of tittle-tattle from journalists was a major error of judgment which wasted valuable time, created ill-feeling locally and caused enormous distress to him and his family as he is entirely innocent.

    Officers also did not do enough to thoroughly check out the sighting of Jane Tanner, one of the friends of the McCanns, who saw a man carrying a child across his arms past the apartment.

    For years and years this sighting was taken seriously and countless appeals went on to find the man with even an artist's impression of him circulated around the world.

    Yet, basic check work done by the Operation Grange team a few years ago showed that the man Jane saw was in fact a British holidaymaker.

    Apparently, all they did to check this was look at which parents had left their youngsters at a creche by the Millennium restaurant, part of the Ocean Club, which the McCanns and their friends had gone to on the first night of their holiday.

    Simply by checking the records of the creche they were able to identify this person and rule him out of their investigation.

    Scotland Yard, to their credit, took far more seriously the sightings by Irishman Martin Smith and members of his family of a suspicious man holding a child and walking quickly down an alley at around 10pm, some 500 yards from apartment 5a.

    E-fit style shots of this person were created for private investigators hired by the McCanns but had been sitting in files for years until Scotland Yard issued them to the media as part of a global appeal to try to identify the man.

    In virtually all major crime investigations mistakes are made, often because of stupidity by officers or due to a failure to gather vital forensic, CCTV or mobile phone evidence.

    For there to have been so many mistakes spread over so many years in the Madeleine McCann case is unprecedented.

    http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/life/798364/Madeleine-McCann-investigation-mistakes-police


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