Tags: madeleine mccann | secret | report | police | bungled | probe

Madeleine McCann Secret Report: Police Bungled Probe

Image: Madeleine McCann Secret Report: Police Bungled Probe
Parents of missing girl Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry McCann. (Leon Neal/AFP/GettyImages)

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 07:07 AM

The investigation regarding Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing in 2007 from her family's vacation home in Portugal, was hampered by the multiple competing agencies seeking to coordinate the search, according to a 2010 report just surfacing.

Jim Gamble, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) compiled the still-secret report which led the Metropolitan Police to re-open the investigation," Sky News reported after being briefed by Gamble.

"All of us . . . your first gut reaction is you want to help . . . so everyone came with best intention, that created a sense of chaos and a sense of competition . . . and in many instances in my opinion wanting to be seen to help," he explained.

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"It was unhelpful . . . I've no doubt relationships from the outset with the Portuguese were impacted by it and I think that had a long-term negative effect on the investigation."

Gamble said that initially, Portuguese police failed to approach the disappearance with the proper care, and went as far as to call it "haphazard."

The negligence on the part of the Portuguese was in turn compounded by 10 different agencies all staking out turf, with no clear chain of command or reporting.

Portuguese authorities were understandably confused by which agency was leading on the British side, with CEOP, the Metropolitan Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the National Police Improvement Agency, and more all getting involved. The confusion among Portuguese authorities led to "frustration," "resentment," and accusations that the British were acting like a "colonial power."

Author Anthony Summers, who will be releasing a new book next week about the disappearance and subsequent investigation, "Looking For Madeleine," confirmed the conclusion of Gamble's report. He told Sky News, "It was a case of too many cooks . . . spoiling the broth of the initial investigation."

The report remains undisclosed, with refusal from The Home Office to release it under freedom of information laws.

McCann was just a few days shy of her fourth birthday when she disappeared from her family's rented vacation apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Her parents had been out to dinner with friends, leaving McCann and her twin siblings asleep in the residence unsupervised.

The Portuguese's handling of the case — which named her parents as suspects before eventually clearing them — and their decision to shelve the investigation in 2008 has been widely condemned by the press.

In June, The Home Office decided to fund a new, full-scale investigation. Scotland Yard has always maintained that the girl might still be alive, having found no evidence to the contrary.

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The investigation regarding Madeleine McCann, the British toddler who went missing in 2007 from her family's vacation home in Portugal, was hampered by the multiple competing agencies seeking to coordinate the search, according to a 2010 report just surfacing.
madeleine mccann, secret, report, police, bungled, probe
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2014-07-03
Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 07:07 AM
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