Madeleine McCann report reveals British police forces competing against one another hindered the investigation.
According to The Inquisitr, the high-profile McCann case has damaged relations between the U.K. and Portugal, where she was last seen alive. There were so many UK agencies involved in the search that relations with the Portuguese police and people were damaged. It also said it had a long-term negative effect on the case.
According to the author of an unpublished Madeleine McCann report, alleges that the initial response to the girl’s disappearance was “haphazard” and that local police had failed to follow up potentially crucial information. Madeleine, from Rothley in Leicestershire, went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in Portugal in 2007.
Jim Gamble, the author and former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also said that the number of UK agencies that got involved with the Madeleine investigation damaged relations with Portuguese police.
His Madeleine McCann report, commissioned by former home secretary Alan Johnson in 2009, found the intervention created “frustration” and “resentment” among Portuguese officers. But he said Britain was warned not to try to behave as a “colonial power” after challenges to the approach to the investigation of the Portuguese police. Gamble told Sky News:
“When this (the disappearance) happened your first gut reaction is that you want to help, a child has gone missing. In Ceop we were no different than anyone else. So there is this rush to help in the early stage and I think because the UK did not have a structure for dealing with this … 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. 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.”
The Madeleine McCann report, which was delivered in 2010, also criticized the decision of the Association of Chief Police Officers to put Leicestershire Police in charge of the operation, saying it was a mistake as the force was ill-equipped for the size of the investigation.
One of Gamble’s recommendations was the establishment of a national centre for missing children. However, this has not been set up. As a result of the Madeleine McCann report, Gamble does not believe that the response of British authorities to a similar situation would be any better.
Author Anthony Summers, whose book “Looking For Madeleine” is out next week and contains further revelations about the McCann case, said:
“It was a case of too many cooks… spoiling the broth of the initial investigation.”
Robbyn Swan, co-author of the book - due to be serialized this weekend in The Sun on Sunday - also said the problems that grew out of the race to help… “those things have not been fundamentally addressed.”