The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Police Searches Announced - Praia da Luz*

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 

Marisa Rodrigues

 

Above: Portuguese journalist, Marisa Rodrigues, reports from the correct location of the proposed searches. The British media had previously focussed on the area closer to the Ocean Club resort.

22 May 2014: Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of Specialist Crime and Operations, meets with representatives from the media at New Scotland Yard and announces a 'substantial upcoming phase of work in Portugal' but guards against any supposition that this 'will immediately lead us to the answers that will explain what has happened'.

24 May 2014: The Portuguese press report that searches for Maddie, in Praia da Luz, are scheduled for June - on waste ground near 'Rua 25 de Abril' [25th of April Street].

28 May 2014: The Daily Mirror report that Kate and Gerry McCann have "no intention" of being in Praia da Luz while forensic archaeologists and sniffer dogs scour the area.

Update on Madeleine McCann disappearance, 22 May 2014
Update on Madeleine McCann disappearance Metropolitan Police

 
Update on Madeleine McCann disappearance, 22 May 2014

22 May 2014

Today, Thursday 22 May, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, head of Specialist Crime and Operations, met with media at New Scotland Yard to update them on Operation Grange, the London based investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

All UK based media outlets were represented at the meeting, as well as media organisations from Portugal, America, and others.

The meeting was held to outline the Metropolitan Police Service position in relation to the ongoing investigation given the speculation and numerous stories that have been running for the past few weeks. AC Rowley confirmed that in the coming weeks there would be specific police activity in Portugal led at all times by the Portuguese authorities (under the auspices of an International Letter of Request or 'Rogatory letter'), with officers from the Metropolitan Police Service working alongside.

Following a meeting with the media Assistant Commissioner Rowley said:

"DCI Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, and his team will be in Portugal carrying out various lines of enquiry.

""Thorough serious crime investigations work systematically through all credible possibilities and therefore it should not be assumed that this substantial upcoming phase of work in Portugal will immediately lead us to the answers that will explain what has happened.

"What you will see is normal police activity you would expect in any such major investigation.

"Similarly, this should not be seen as a sign that the investigation is nearing a conclusion. I fully expect that there will be much more work to do when this particular phase of activity comes to an end. It is helpful that any reporting of activity in Portugal is set in this context.

"We will be updating Mr and Mrs McCann throughout the activity as we have been throughout the investigation.

"We will not be giving information on when this activity is to occur.

"The very fact that we are in the position of moving towards substantial activity in Portugal shows that the relationship between the MPS and Portuguese colleagues is working."

AC Rowley issued a letter to media on 6 May 2014 stating that the advice he was receiving from Portugal was that their approach to media handling was different and they do not brief the media on current investigations.

They clearly stated that if the MPS 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.

Assistant Commissioner Rowley reiterated that position today:

"We have made it clear to colleagues in Portugal that we will not be giving operational updates. I appreciate this will be frustrating to you (the media) especially given the help you have provided to us with public appeals so far which has added significant evidence into our files. However, if this was an investigation in London I would not be making public details of operational investigative activity that we were planning or how it might link in to the investigation.

"Of course complications are added when an investigation is taken abroad.

"My letter last month did map out where we stood in terms of how we could manage the media demand in this investigation. If media interfere with police work, that work will stop. I suspect that the boundaries around what that is will be apparent and I asked you to cooperate with the requests of the Portuguese authorities as the most important thing is to make this inquiry go as smoothly as possible.

"On a recent visit to Portugal DCI Redwood was surrounded by a large media group asking for comments from him.

"I appreciate that media group may not solely be UK agencies, and other media may state they are unaware of our repeated requests.

"DCI Redwood and his team will not be giving comment.

"Please allow them the room to manoeuvre and work on what is a live investigation into the disappearance of a young girl. If you get any information ahead of our actions do not publish anything that may give suspects advance notice.

The family have also made their wishes clear about allowing us and the Portuguese the room to carry on with our work and this was reinforced this publicly by Kate McCann when Andy and his team were last in Portugal.

"In my initial letter I asked editors to think twice - that advice stands. We all want the same outcome - to do everything possible to try to find answers for the McCann family.

"It is only fair on you I am upfront with you about what you can get and how the media might impact on the investigation.

"I am well aware that updates may help control this investigation and I am committed to doing this in a transparent way but mindful that nothing we do will damage the integrity of the investigation or the best possible chances of bringing it to a conclusion."

Madeleine McCann search to enter 'substantial phase' of activity, 22 May 2014
Madeleine McCann search to enter 'substantial phase' of activity BBC News (with video)

22 May 2014 Last updated at 11:00

Scotland Yard says the work will be led by the Portuguese police, as June Kelly reports

 

Scotland Yard says the work will be led by the Portuguese police, as June Kelly reports

Police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance say "a substantial phase of operational activity" will begin within weeks.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said the activity would be led by Portuguese police with the involvement of British officers.

Madeleine was three years old when she went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.

Scotland Yard launched a fresh investigation last July.

Credible possibilities

Mr Rowley did not give details about what the next phase would involve, but said officers were working through every credible line of inquiry as part of the "slog of a major investigation".

He said: "It's something that you would expect in any major inquiry.

"A thorough serious crime investigation works systematically through all the credible possibilities, and often in an investigation you will have more than one credible possibility.

"Therefore just because we're doing a substantial phase of work in the forthcoming weeks doesn't mean that it's going to immediately lead to answers that will explain everything."

Intruder

The Metropolitan Police's relationship with officers in Portugal was working well, he added.

Scotland Yard's investigation - codenamed Operation Grange - came two years into a review of the case.

In March, British police said they were seeking an intruder who sexually abused five girls in Portugal between 2004 and 2006.

Detectives say the attacks happened in holiday villas occupied by UK families in the Algarve.

----------------------

Transcript of video

The McCanns hold hands

 

By Nigel Moore

June Kelly: It's seven years this month since Madeleine McCann, then three-years-old, disappeared.

Today, Scotland Yard announced that the police work which will be done in the coming weeks is the sort undertaken in any major investigation.

In this case, of course, it's being carried out many years on.

Madeleine was on holiday with her family in the resort of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve.

In recent weeks there's been talk of sites being dug up.

Scotland Yard has also said in the past that one line of inquiry is a series of reported sex attacks on young British girls in the Algarve.

On the recent anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, Kate and Gerry McCann spoke to the BBC.

Kate McCann: I do go back and that's obviously the last place we were with Madeleine and I'll still walk those streets and, I guess, try and look for answers or... [shrugs shoulders] you know, so... it helps me. Most of the time [laughs].

June Kelly: A senior officer here, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, said that at some stage he wanted to be able to tell Kate and Gerry McCann that they'd got to the bottom of Madeleine's disappearance or that they had unturned every stone and couldn't find an answer.

British detectives in Portugal recently

[voice over] British detectives in Portugal recently.

Scotland Yard is stressing that the work on the ground there will be led by the Portuguese police assisted by British officers.

Diplomatic sensitivities have always played a part in this case.

The disappearance of this little girl is a global story with massive media interest.

Today Scotland Yard appealed to the media to behave responsibly in the coming weeks, as the Madeleine McCann inquiry moves into a new phase.

June Kelly, BBC News, at Scotland Yard.

Police announce "substantial activity" in search for Madeleine McCann, 22 May 2014
Police announce "substantial activity" in search for Madeleine McCann The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 22-05-2014 12:16:00

British police involved in the search for Madeleine McCann on Thursday forecast there would be "specific police activity in the coming weeks."

DCI Andy Redwood

British police said during the briefing held at New Scotland Yard that searches in Praia da Luz will be led at all times by the Portuguese authorities (under the auspices of an International Letter of Request), with officers from the Metropolitan Police Service working alongside.

PJ police in Lisbon this week told The Portugal News that only one specific area has been approved for searches according to the international letter of request.

Police also confirmed that while the Metropolitan Police had expressed a clear willingness to accompany the investigation in Portugal, they had not yet received a formal request by Wednesday evening to do so. Police here told The Portugal News such an application was a prerequisite for any joint-action on the ground.

Meanwhile, the meeting on Thursday morning in London was held to outline the Metropolitan Police Service's position in relation to the ongoing investigation given the speculation and numerous stories that have been running for the past few weeks.

According to Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, who led the meeting, "DCI Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, and his team will be in Portugal carrying out various lines of enquiry."

He added that thorough serious crime investigations work systematically through all credible possibilities and "therefore it should not be assumed that this substantial upcoming phase of work in Portugal will immediately lead us to the answers that will explain what has happened."

He predicted that media will see normal police activity expected in any such major investigation.

"Similarly, this should not be seen as a sign that the investigation is nearing a conclusion. I fully expect that there will be much more work to do when this particular phase of activity comes to an end. It is helpful that any reporting of activity in Portugal is set in this context."

He also revealed British police will be updating Kate and Gerry McCann throughout the activity "as we have been throughout the investigation."

He further stressed that "the very fact that we are in the position of moving towards substantial activity in Portugal shows that the relationship between the MPS and Portuguese colleagues is working."

AC Rowley issued a letter to media on 6 May stating that the advice he was receiving from Portugal was that their approach to media handling was different and they do not brief the media on current investigations.

They clearly stated that if the MPS 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.

Assistant Commissioner Rowley reiterated that position on Thursday: "We have made it clear to colleagues in Portugal that we will not be giving operational updates.

"I appreciate this will be frustrating to you (the media) especially given the help you have provided to us with public appeals so far which has added significant evidence into our files. However, if this was an investigation in London I would not be making public details of operational investigative activity that we were planning or how it might link in to the investigation."

AC Rowley also called on media to allow Portuguese police the room to manoeuvre and work on what is a live investigation into the disappearance of a young girl.

He said: "If you get any information ahead of our actions do not publish anything that may give suspects advance notice."

Police urge press not to 'crowd out and hound down' Madeleine McCann investigation, 22 May 2014
Police urge press not to 'crowd out and hound down' Madeleine McCann investigation Press Gazette

William Turvill
22 May 2014

Gerry and Kate McCann pictured in 2012 with an age-progressed photo of their missing daughter

British journalists have been urged not to "crowd out and hound down" officers investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann ahead of a "substantial upcoming phase of work in Portugal".

At an Operation Grange media briefing this morning at New Scotland Yard, attended by Press Gazette, assistant commissioner Mark Rowley also asked journalists to avoid "hyperbole" and to not publish "any information ahead of our actions".

Rowley told journalists they had been "very helpful to date", before adding: "I think there's a tendency sometimes on this case, because it has such interest, for hyperbole in some of the reporting and it's not helpful if everything we do is reported as a breakthrough, significant development, or both... I think I want to keep expectations down."

He added: "In terms of your reporting, it would be I think really helpful if whatever reporting you do over the next few weeks as the activity takes place, if you try and put it in that context."

He said that the McCanns' statement earlier this month, in which they said they were "dismayed" by "media interference" in the police's work, "reflects our view".

Rowley told journalists that the "media scrum" surrounding developments earlier this month were "disruptive" and created a "chaotic and dysfunctional" atmosphere.

Rowley's request that journalists should not publish information ahead of Operation Grange actions was described as a "big ask" by Guardian crime reporter Sandra Laville.

Talking about the McCann case she told Rowley: "Looking at what was said in Leveson and what Leicestershire Police didn't guide on re[garding] whether the family were suspects, a bit of guidance there would have saved the family an awful lot of stress actually.

"And I think if we get information ahead of something, I would come to you and seek guidance.

"And I would have thought in a grown-up relationship that would still be possible, shouldn't it? Because otherwise you lose complete control of it. And you get rumours flying from Portugal and from the British media."

Rowley told Laville that he was not against giving guidance, but said he would be concerned about journalists coming for guidance based on "vague tips".

Following the briefing, the Met released the following statement from Rowley:
"DCI Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, and his team will be in Portugal carrying out various lines of enquiry.

"Thorough serious crime investigations work systematically through all credible possibilities and therefore it should not be assumed that this substantial upcoming phase of work in Portugal will immediately lead us to the answers that will explain what has happened.

"What you will see is normal police activity you would expect in any such major investigation.

"Similarly, this should not be seen as a sign that the investigation is nearing a conclusion. I fully expect that there will be much more work to do when this particular phase of activity comes to an end. It is helpful that any reporting of activity in Portugal is set in this context.

"We will be updating Mr and Mrs McCann throughout the activity as we have been throughout the investigation.

"We will not be giving information on when this activity is to occur.

"The very fact that we are in the position of moving towards substantial activity in Portugal shows that the relationship between the MPS and Portuguese colleagues is working...

"We have made it clear to colleagues in Portugal that we will not be giving operational updates. I appreciate this will be frustrating to you (the media) especially given the help you have provided to us with public appeals so far which has added significant evidence into our files. However, if this was an investigation in London I would not be making public details of operational investigative activity that we were planning or how it might link in to the investigation.

"Of course complications are added when an investigation is taken abroad.

"My letter last month did map out where we stood in terms of how we could manage the media demand in this investigation. If media interfere with police work, that work will stop. I suspect that the boundaries around what that is will be apparent and I asked you to cooperate with the requests of the Portuguese authorities as the most important thing is to make this inquiry go as smoothly as possible.

"On a recent visit to Portugal DCI Redwood was surrounded by a large media group asking for comments from him.

"I appreciate that media group may not solely be UK agencies, and other media may state they are unaware of our repeated requests.

"DCI Redwood and his team will not be giving comment.

"Please allow them the room to manoeuvre and work on what is a live investigation into the disappearance of a young girl. If you get any information ahead of our actions do not publish anything that may give suspects advance notice.

"The family have also made their wishes clear about allowing us and the Portuguese the room to carry on with our work and this was reinforced this publicly by Kate McCann when Andy and his team were last in Portugal.

"In my initial letter I asked editors to think twice - that advice stands. We all want the same outcome - to do everything possible to try to find answers for the McCann family.

"It is only fair on you I am upfront with you about what you can get and how the media might impact on the investigation.

"I am well aware that updates may help control this investigation and I am committed to doing this in a transparent way but mindful that nothing we do will damage the integrity of the investigation or the best possible chances of bringing it to a conclusion."
Gerry and Kate McCann pictured in 2012 with an age-progressed photo of their missing daughter (credit: Reuters).

Madeleine McCann: British police preparing to interview suspects and begin digging in Portugal, 22 May 2014
Madeleine McCann: British police preparing to interview suspects and begin digging in Portugal Daily Mirror

By David Collins | May 22, 2014 20:54

Scotland Yard detectives are prepare to join their Portuguese counterparts to start a major operation on the ground in Praia da Luz

Stepped up: UK detectives are preparing to join their Portugese counterparts in a major operation

Stepped up: UK detectives are preparing to join their Portugese counterparts in a major operation

British police hunting Madeleine McCann missing Madeleine McCann will begin quizzing suspects and digging for clues within weeks.

Scotland Yard today announced “a substantial phase of operational activity” as officers prepared to join Portuguese counterparts at the resort where the three-year-old vanished in 2007.

Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said the activity would be led by local police with the involvement of UK officers.

British police have said they are seeking an intruder who sexually abused five girls between 2004 and 2006 in villas occupied by UK families in the Algarve. They will sit in as any potential suspects are interviewed by local officers.

Forensic teams will use ground-penetrating radar to examine sites where earth has been disturbed. They will then bring in diggers.

Detectives are said to be focussing on two areas near the apartment where the McCanns stayed.

New aerial photographs are likely to be taken and officers will hunt for changes in vegetation, rock disturbance, odd depressions or piles of soil.

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

 
UK Police in Faro to investigate Madeleine Beth McCann who disappeared Praia da Luz pic Andy Redwood going to Police staion

Madaline McCann - British police arrive in Portugal

 

Hi-tech tools can detect changes in magnetic fields caused by disturbed earth and changes to soil resistance caused by a body.

Mr Rowley said officers were working through every credible line of inquiry as part of the "slog of a major investigation".

He went on: "A thorough serious crime investigation works systematically through all the credible possibilities and often in an investigation you will have more than one credible possibility.

"Therefore, just because we're doing a substantial phase of work in the forthcoming weeks, it doesn't mean that it's going to immediately lead to answers that will explain everything. What you will see is normal police activity.

"Similarly, this should not be seen as a sign that the investigation is nearing a conclusion.

"The very fact that we are in the position of moving towards substantial activity shows the relationship between the Met and its Portuguese colleagues is working."

Mr Rowley said Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate would be kept up to date throughout the activity led by the Met’s Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood.

---------------
Screenshot of gallery with incorrect spelling of Madeleine's name

 
Screenshot of gallery with incorrect spelling of Madeleine's name

Madeleine McCann hunt goes into overdrive, 23 May 2014
Madeleine McCann hunt goes into overdrive Daily Star

MADELEINE McCann detectives are hoping for a breakthrough as their hunt in Portugal goes into overdrive.

By Ed Riley / Published 23rd May 2014

HOPEFUL: Scotland Yard is pushing hard for a large-scale dig into Praia da Luz for Madeleine McCann [PA]

 

Scotland Yard officers will stage ­major digs near the missing girl's holiday apartment in the next few days.

Officers are expected to use ground-penetrating radar at various sites around the resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared in May 2007.

Their worst fear is they may turn up a body.

Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said yesterday they hope they may finally unearth "fruitful" clues that will help solve the mystery.

The senior officer told a Scotland Yard press conference: "There is a massive investigation here.

"If we didn't think there were any fruitful lines of inquiry, we wouldn't be where we are today.

"The only way you get anywhere is working through all of them systematically."

He added: "Just because we're doing a substantial phase of work in the forthcoming weeks doesn't mean that it's going to immediately lead to answers that will explain everything."

UNEARTHING: Assistant comissioner Mark Rowley is confident to find clues [GETTY]

Mr Rowley said that the relationship with Portuguese police is "going in the right direction".

The Portuguese have re-opened their probe but have so far refused to set up an official joint investigation.

A number of officers from Scotland Yard are hoping to be involved in the latest phase of activity.

Mr Rowley said: "The activity in Portugal is led by the Portuguese. That is absolutely crystal clear in law.

"We have some officers who would like to be helping with that."

One line of inquiry established by Scotland Yard involves a lone paedophile who staged a series of sex attacks on young British girls on holiday in the ­Algarve.

They are looking at nine sexual assaults and three "near misses" on British girls aged six to 12 between 2004 and 2006.

It includes one in 2005 on a 10-year-old girl in the resort where Madeleine vanished aged three while her doctor parents Kate, 46, and Gerry, 45, of Rothley, Leics, dined nearby.

'Maddie hunt goes into overdrive', 23 May 2014
'Maddie hunt goes into overdrive' Daily Star (paper edition, page 15)

Daily Star, 23 May 2014
Daily Star, 23 May 2014

Maddie swoop, 23 May 2014
Maddie swoop The Sun (paper edition, page 17)

 
Maddie swoop - The Sun, 23 May 2014 (paper edition, page 17)

Arrests 'days away' in huge cop search

By MIKE SULLIVAN, Crime Editor
Friday, 23 May, 2014


A MAJOR police operation in the Portuguese resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared will start within days.

At least four sites where Madeleine or any clues may be buried will be searched with ground-penetrating radar.

And arrests and interviews of suspects are also expected in Praia da Luz over the next few weeks.

Officers from the Met's Operation Grange will work with colleagues from Portugal's Policia Judiciaria.

The planned searches, first revealed in The Sun earlier this month, will be based on mobile phone data, intelligence and evidence from witnesses.

They will take place near the beach and around the Ocean Club complex where Madeleine, below, vanished aged three in May 2007. If the radar finds sign of soil disturbance, full excavations will be carried out.

The Met inquiry began in 2011 after a plea from Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry to PM David Cameron appeared in The Sun. Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said yesterday: "We may go through every line of inquiry and all draw a blank.

"If that happens I want to be able to tell Kate and Gerry, 'We turned over every stone'."

'Maddie cops to quiz suspects & begin dig', 23 May 2014
'Maddie cops to quiz suspects & begin dig' Daily Mirror (paper edition, page 11)

Major activity in weeks to come, says Met boss

Daily Mirror, 23 May 2014
Daily Mirror, 23 May 2014

 

[Text of article as per online version 'Madeleine McCann: British police preparing to interview suspects and begin digging in Portugal' published 22 May 2014 (above)]

Searches for Maddie in Praia da Luz scheduled for June, 24 May 2014
Searches for Maddie in Praia da Luz scheduled for June Jornal de Notícias

MARISA RODRIGUES
Published: 23 May 2014


Searches and excavations in Praia da Luz, requested by the British police, are scheduled for early June. Seven years after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, detectives will search for traces of the little girl's body.

Efforts will be made on waste ground near Rua 25 de Abril [25th of April Street]. It is expected to last a week and will be led solely by the PJ. The National Directorate of the Polícia Judiciária has authorized the Portuguese inspectors to be accompanied by a British team that will include detectives from the Metropolitan Police and forensic experts, who will bring UK sniffer dogs and georadar.

These steps have nothing to do with the Portuguese investigation. They were ordered by the British authorities, through a rogatory letter, and have received the "green light" from the Public Ministry of Portimão, who referred it to the PJ to carry out.

This Wednesday, in a statement to British journalists, the Metropolitan Police admitted for the first time that this inquiry may prove to be inconclusive.

Map of Praia da Luz showing 'Rua 25 de Abril' in relation to the McCanns' apartment and the sighting by the Smith family

Map of Praia da Luz showing 'Rua 25 de Abril' street in relation to the McCanns' apartment and the sighting by the Smith family
Click image to enlarge

English to dig in three areas, 28 May 2014
English to dig in three areas Correio da Manhã (paper edition)

Searches to look for the body start next week. English defend burglary thesis.

by Tânia Laranjo /Ana Isabel Fonseca
28.05.2014
With thanks to Astro for translation

Scotland Yard wants to dig at three locations, in Praia da Luz, searching for Madeleine McCann's remains. The English have already sent the letters rogatory - requesting two additional searches - but these have not yet arrived at the Polícia Judiciária in Faro. Only then will the dates for the beginning of the excavations be set, although it seems that they will start early next week.

The three grounds are located near the Praia da Luz resort, in Lagos, where the English child disappeared from, on the 3rd of May of 2007. The English believe that the little girl was killed during a burglary at the house and that the body was abandoned near the Ocean Club afterwards.

Dogs that specialise in detecting cadaver odour will participate in the searches. The animals come from England and have already been successfully used in the retrieval of other bodies. The radars that will be used to find out if there is an alien object under ground will come from the same country.

CM knows that the excavations will be carried out by the English police. The Judiciária will be on location just due to bureaucratic issues, given that it holds jurisdiction over the area.

The search warrants that permit the searches have also been issued already - because these are private grounds. Any discovery will be communicated to the Portuguese authorities and will become part of the process, which was reopened late last year, and which presently runs against unknown persons.

CM was further able to establish that the diligence by the English will last for four to six days. The cost of the operation will be fully supported by the English police, which is already arranging for the rental of backhoes and other equipment that is needed for the excavations.

What is a 'backhoe'?

Backhoe loader - side view

The name 'backhoe' refers to the action of the shovel, not its location on the vehicle: a backhoe digs by drawing earth backwards, rather than lifting it with a forward motion like a person shovelling.

Madeleine McCann: UK police search in Portugal could begin next week, 28 May 2014
Madeleine McCann: UK police search in Portugal could begin next week The Guardian

'Substantial phase of activity' in search for missing girl could begin as early as Monday if technicalities permit, sources say

Brendan de Beer in Praia da Luz and Josh Halliday
Wednesday 28 May 2014 18.51 BST

British police searching for Madeleine McCann will focus on three sites in the Portuguese holiday resort where she disappeared. Photograph: PA

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are expected next week to begin searching on the ground in the Portuguese holiday resort where she went missing seven years ago.

Officers from the British investigative team could begin examining areas in Praia da Luz as early as Monday once a number of technicalities are resolved, Portuguese police sources told the Guardian.

Scotland Yard said earlier this month that it would begin a "substantial phase of activity on the ground" as part of the renewed investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

That operation gathered pace in the last few days, according to Polícia Judiciária sources, who said that an official request from British police to examine one site in Praia da Luz had been granted and that the work could "in principle" begin on Monday.

"There are a number of details which still need to be ironed out before full approval of this request is granted," said a police source in Lisbon. "We asked for supplementary details from Scotland Yard and, while they have been received, police in Lisbon and Faro are still studying the information."

The ground-level searches are expected to focus on three parts of the resort where Madeleine went missing on 3 May 2007 while her mother and father, Kate and Gerry McCann, were having dinner with friends at a tapas restaurant near their holiday apartment.

A team of British detectives flew out to Portugal earlier this month ahead of the searches, which are expected to involve the use of ground penetrating radar that will detect whether the ground has been disturbed. Excavations of any site could then follow.

Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said earlier this month that the operation in Praia da Luz did not amount to a significant breakthrough – describing it as the "routine slog" of an ongoing investigation. He said there were many fruitful lines of inquiry being explored but conceded: "We may go through every line of inquiry and all of them draw a blank."

Rowley also appealed for media restraint ahead of the searches, a call that was echoed on Wednesday by a Polícia Judiciária source in Lisbon who insisted the investigation would not be "transformed into a media circus".

"The moment we feel our work and movements are being undermined or restricted by cameras or satellite trucks, we will immediately order the cessation of all field operations until normality has been restored," the source said. "While we cannot expect television cameras and journalists to stay away, we ask them to respect our work and our space."

The investigation has in recent weeks moved at a much slower pace because of various International Letters of Request from Britain to Portugal and the need for the two jurisdictions to work together. The attorney general's office in Lisbon had not disclosed on Wednesday whether a new set of letters had arrived concerning the searches in Praia da Luz.

A Portuguese police source said: "While we will do everything within our power to assist British police in their investigation, we will do so by abiding strictly to Portuguese law. We are aware that Scotland Yard wish to search other sites, but this information will need prior approval from prosecutors here in Portugal."

A Metropolitan police spokesman said they would not be giving a "running commentary" on the investigation.

Madeleine McCann's parents vow not to return to Portugal unless new search finds daughter's DNA, 28 May 2014
Madeleine McCann's parents vow not to return to Portugal unless new search finds daughter's DNA Daily Mirror

May 28, 2014 19:31 | By Tom Pettifor

Kate and Gerry McCann have "no intention" of being in Portugal's Praia da Luz while forensic archaeologists and sniffer dogs scour the area

Not going back: The McCanns will avoid the grim task

Not going back: The McCanns will avoid the grim task

The parents of Madeleine McCann will not return to the resort where they last saw their daughter next week when British police will start digging for clues.

The significant new ground searches could begin as early as Monday, according to Portuguese sources.

But Kate and Gerry McCann have "no intention" of being in Portugal's Praia da Luz while the grim task is being undertaken, a close pal revealed yesterday.

A UK crack team – believed to include a forensic archaeologist, sniffer dogs and ground penetrating radar - will scour an area yards from the family's flat in Praia da Luz.

Scotland Yard are focussing on two more sites close by as they prepare for an operation lasting between four and six days.

Portuguese officers will supervise the work and retain overall management of the search.

New search: Detectives will scour the beach in Praia da Luz

New search: Detectives will scour the beach in Praia da Luz

But Kate and Gerry McCann have decided to stay away, a close pal has revealed.

The friend said: "They welcome the new phase of the investigation and hope it may lead them a step closer to finding out what happened to their daughter. They will be kept informed by Scotland Yard of any developments but they have no intention of going there. It is the last place they would want to be while digging takes place.

"It will be a hugely emotional time for Madeleine's parents but it is a scenario they know needs to happen. They will only go to Portugal, God forbid, if any remains matching her DNA were found."

Hope: Gerry and Kate McCann are praying for a happy outcome

Hope: Gerry and Kate McCann are praying for a happy outcome

Former GP Kate and heart doctor Gerry, both 45, believe Maddie – who vanished seven years ago and would now be aged 11 – could still be alive. Gerry recently told supporters in his home village of Rothley, Leics, that they had been buoyed up by the Met Police investigation.

During a prayer gathering for his daughter he said: "They are going back out to Portugal very soon. They are chipping away and there is new evidence. We are going to continue hoping we get a happy outcome – and one day we will know what's happening."

Kate added: "We are still battling, still hoping, still searching for Madeleine."

Missing: Madeleine McCann vanished seven years ago and still hasn't been found

Missing: Madeleine McCann vanished seven years ago and still hasn't been found

It comes less than a week after Scotland Yard chiefs said the search for Madeleine would enter a "substantial" new phase in the coming weeks.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley confirmed: "There is going to be a substantial phase of operational activity involving Portuguese police with British police in support.

"In a major investigation with multiple lines of inquiry and hypotheses, you have to systematically work through them all.

"This is a phase of activity based on those principles."

Search warrants permitting work to take place on the privately-owned land had already been issued, it has been reported.

One plot is thought to be fenced-off waste land a two minute walk from Madeleine's apartment which police hired a Portuguese air force helicopter to fly over earlier this month so they could take pictures. Diggers and other equipment are expected to be hired locally by the Met.

No stone unturned: Diggers are set to be hired in the search of Praia da Luz

No stone unturned: Diggers are set to be hired in the search of Praia da Luz

Scotland Yard have sent formal requests to search two other plots of land - making a total of five - but the letters have not yet reached police in the Algarve capital Faro.

The "substantial" work Met Police have referred to is also expected to include interviews with new suspects identified by Operation Grange officers heading a British probe into Madeleine's disappearance.

Several are understood to be ex-Ocean Club employees. The Yard has not ruled out the possibility Madeleine is still alive, but has prompted speculation with its dig requests that they now believe the youngster was kidnapped and her body dumped near her holiday resort.

They are linking 18 incidents when a male intruder broke into British families' holiday villas between 2004 and 2010 and sexually assaulted nine girls with three near-misses.

One of the victims, a ten-year-old girl, was assaulted in Praia da Luz two years before Madeleine vanished from the resort.

Portuguese police heading a separate investigation into Madeleiene's disappearance have not ruled out the involvement of a former Ocean Club worker who died in a tractor accident in 2009.

Euclides Monteiro's widow Luisa Rodrigues has insisted her recovering drug addict partner, a convicted burglar, had nothing to do with Madeleene's disappearance and was cleared of any involvement in the sex attacks after police questioning the year before he died.

Praia da Luz parish council leader Victor Mata has attacked the police excavations plans.

Claiming locals were "fed up with the Maddie case" and most "didn't care anymore", he told a Portuguese paper soon after the first reports of the dig plans emerged: "It's bad for tourism. It's beggars belief they're preparing to open up holes here a month before summer."

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell yesterday refused to comment on the forthcoming police activity, saying: "I cannot and will not discuss Operation Grange."

Searches for Maddie authorised in just one location, 28 May 2014
Searches for Maddie authorised in just one location tvi24 (with video)

TVI News: PJ was at the location in order to arrange the details of the excavation in Praia da Luz, Lagos, which will begin next week.

By: Edition / Marisa Rodrigues | 2014-05-28 22:00
With thanks to Ines for translation

Searches for Maddie authorised in just one location - tvi24 video

It is TVI news. The PJ was in Praia da Luz today, in order to finalise the details for the searches and excavations in the case of Madeleine McCann. Inquiries have been authorised for only one location. Seven years after the disappearance, the British police believe that it will find the girl's body.

These are the steps needed in order to define the last details. The Southern Directorate PJ team, having the task of complying with the inquiries requested by British detectives, have returned to the site. The only place where, up until now, excavations have been approved in Praia da Luz.

Everything is prepared in order to comply with the Letter of Request. It will take place on waste land, adjoining Rua 25 de Abril. An extensive area that will require various days' work. Work should begin next week.

It is expected that Metropolitan police officers, forensic teams, bringing sniffer dogs and a geo-radar will be present at the scene, in order to analyse the terrain. In an operation planned and coordinated by the PJ, after having received the green light from the Public Ministry.

The most recent steps in the British investigation indicate that the strongest possibility being taken into account is that Madeleine McCann is dead. Seven years after the disappearance, it is suspected that her body could be in the area, which at the time, was the target of searches made by the GNR with the help of tracker dogs.

Maddie: Cops start to dig, 29 May 2014
Maddie: Cops start to dig Daily Star (paper edition)

Daily Star, 29 May 2014

Daily Star, 29 May 2014 (detail)
Daily Star, 29 May 2014 (detail)

 

PAGE 9

-----------------

Police prepare to dig for Madeleine McCann's body Daily Star

POLICE will start searching for Madeleine McCann’s body next week.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 29th May 2014

RECOVERY: The operation to recover the body of the missing girl is expected to last six days [PA]

They will use radar to scan waste ground near the Portuguese apartment where she vanished in 2007.

UK sniffer dogs are also expected to join an operation set to last up to six days in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

They are said to be focussing on three sites next to the Ocean Club where Madeleine, (left) then three, and her parents Kate, 46, and Gerry, 45, (right) were staying. The start date claim comes less than a week after Scotland Yard chiefs said the probe would soon enter a "substantial" new phase.

STILL MISSING: Scotland Yard are expected to hire sonar detection equipment [JONATHAN BUCKMASTER]

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: "There is going to be a substantial phase of operational activity involving Portuguese police with British police in support.

"In a major investigation with multiple lines of inquiry and hypotheses, you have to systematically work through them all. This is a phase of activity based on those principles."

One plot is thought to be fenced-off wasteland a two-minute walk from the McCanns' holiday apartment.

Diggers and other equipment are expected to be hired.

Met Police are also expected to include interviews with eight new suspects. Several are understood to be former employees of the Ocean Club.

The Yard has not ruled out the possibility Madeleine is still alive.

Praia da Luz parish council leader Victor Mata has attacked the police excavation plans.

He told a Portuguese paper soon after the first reports of the dig plans emerged: "It's bad for tourism.

"It beggars belief they're preparing to open up holes here a month before summer."

Police to use radar and sniffer dogs in their hunt for Madeleine McCann clues, 29 May 2014
Police to use radar and sniffer dogs in their hunt for Madeleine McCann clues Daily Express

A MAJOR police land search in the Algarve holiday resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared is set to begin early next week.

By: David Pilditch
Published: Thu, May 29, 2014

Madeleine would now be 11-years-old[PA]

Using ground-penetrating radar, police will scan for clues at up to five sites.

If signs of soil disturbance are detected, full excavations will follow.

The sites in and around Praia da Luz are thought to include an area of wasteland the size of three football pitches next to the McCann's Ocean Club apartment from which the three-year-old vanished while her parents ate at a nearby tapas restaurant.

Yesterday leading Portuguese daily Correio da Manha reported that search warrants had been issued.

Scotland Yard detectives will go over the ground with sniffer dogs and radar, the paper said, while Portuguese officers supervise.

The search is expected to last four to six days.

Potential suspects may be arrested and witnesses interviewed.

Last night Scotland Yard declined to comment on the report, but it comes days after Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley announced a "substantial phase" of activity.

Playing down the idea that the operation was an "endgame or a breakthrough", Mr Rowley said: "There is going to be a substantial phase of operational activity involving Portuguese police with British police in support.

"In a major investigation with multiple lines of inquiry and hypotheses, you have to systematically work through them all."

The operation is believed to include inquiries into a paedophile who staged a series of sex attacks.

Operation Grange detectives are linking 18 incidents when an intruder broke into British families' holiday villas between 2004 and 2010 and sexually assaulted nine girls, with three near misses.

A ten-year-old victim was attacked in Praia da Luz two years before Madeleine vanished from the resort in May 2007.

The Yard does not rule out the possibility Madeleine is still alive.

Detectives want to trace burglars suspected of a string of break-ins in the area around the time she went missing, while Portuguese police have not ruled out the involvement of a former Ocean Club worker who died in a tractor accident in 2009.

A friend of Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leics, said: "They welcome the new phase of the investigation and hope it may lead them a step closer to finding out what happened to their daughter.

"It will be a hugely emotional time but it is a scenario they know needs to happen.

"They will only go to Portugal if, God forbid, any remains matching her DNA were found."

Earlier this month Kate, 46, and Gerry, 45, marked Madeleine's 11th birthday, saying: "It's the toughest day of our year."

Spotlight back on Luz, 29 May 2014
Spotlight back on Luz The Portugal News

BY BRENDAN DE BEER · 29-05-2014 15:51:00

Praia da Luz will next week become the centre of the world's focus as attention once again shifts to the village as police renew their quest to find missing British toddler Madeleine McCann.

 
Olegário de Sousa


 

"In principle, work on the ground should commence at the beginning of next week" a police source told The Portugal News on Thursday afternoon.

"Work should last a few days" the source said, suggesting searches would probably not last into next weekend.

"Permission has been granted in recent days for British police to join us in searches. There were some finer details in need of further clarification, which have since been received. Searches, at least from a legal standpoint are ready to begin", the high-ranking police source continued, stressing however that no field operations would start before next Monday, at the earliest.

Nonetheless, detectives were spotted visiting the site where searches will be taking place on Wednesday and "we expect there might even be a few more visits before field operations begin in earnest", it was explained

As reported previously in The Portugal News (see 17 May edition), Portuguese prosecutors have only given permission for searches on the ground to take place in one single area.

"Scotland Yard have requested that work be done on two other sites, but no approval has yet been granted", the source said.

The Attorney-General's office in Lisbon on Thursday afternoon sent a statement to The Portugal News confirming it had received a new International Letter of Request from the Crown Prosecution Service "relating to the disappearance of the minor Madeleine McCann".

Portuguese police have since stressed that they would be assisting their British counterparts throughout the operation to the best of their abilities and would continue to do so should any future searches be approved.

In the meantime, a number of resources are expected to be used in the upcoming search, ranging from earth-penetrating radar equipment to the use of dogs.

Police here also cautioned that they would immediately stop field operations should they feel their work was being restricted by the expected "media circus".

PJ police in Lisbon said this week that "while we cannot expect the media to stay away, we ask that they allow police to do their work unhindered or leave us with no option but to call off the entire operation".

Meanwhile, Praia da Luz Mayor Vítor Mata told The Portugal News earlier this month that the "people of Luz are tired of this case", but added that "searches like these are always worth it, so long as the authorities have concrete evidence to back them up".

However, he added that council workers spend their time in the town on a daily basis and said they would be the first people to notice if something were out of place or if there was a site police should investigate.

Police from the GNR in Lagos did not comment on the case when questioned on Wednesday, but seemed resigned to the fact that they will be on additional traffic duty for much of the coming week.

Portuguese police visit waste ground at centre of Madeleine McCann search, 29 May 2014
Portuguese police visit waste ground at centre of Madeleine McCann search Evening Standard

Police visited a key site in the search for Madeleine McCann

GERARD COUZENS
Published: 29 May 2014
Updated: 10:13, 29 May 2014


Portuguese police have visited the waste ground in Praia da Luz where the search for Madeleine McCann is due to start early next week.

Several PJ officers examined the area on foot and by car yesterday/on Wednesday after travelling to the Algarve holiday resort from their base in Faro an hour's drive away.

Faro police chief Luis Mota Carmo - who has held several meetings with the British detective leading the hunt for Madeleine McCann - led the site survey.

Last night it was reported the area the British police have been given permission to dig up is waste ground near to the spot where a man carrying a girl in pink pyjamas was seen the night Madeleine disappeared more than seven years ago.

It had been thought British police would start their search at fenced-off land next to the Ocean Club holiday complex where Madeleine was staying with her family.

But the Portuguese detectives were spotted going over wasteland next to 25th of April Street, a short walk west from the centre of Praia da Luz.

The large area of scrubland overlooking the Med is the only site British police have so far been given permission to search, Portuguese media reported.

Respected Portuguese daily Jornal de Noticias said a search team with police from the two countries would re-examine the site at the start of next week before cordoning off the areas they intend focusing on.

English want to dig ground in search for Maddie, 29 May 2014
English want to dig ground in search for Maddie Jornal de Notícias (paper edition)

 
Jornal de Notícias, 29 May 2014 (paper edition)


 

Polícia Judiciária (PJ) was in Praia da Luz yesterday, on the ground where the searches and excavations are going to take place.

by Marisa Rodrigues
29.05.2014
With thanks to Astro for translation

The investigators have worked out the last details for the diligences that are to start next Monday. They have been requested by the British police, that believes the body may be buried there, seven years after the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on the 3rd of May of 2007, at the Ocean Club resort, while their friends were dining with friends at the hotel's restaurant.

On the ground were several inspectors, accompanied by the PJ's Faro Directory's coordinator, Luís Mota Carmo. They walked the entire area, by car and on foot, as JN was able to witness. This was one of the last steps that were missing in the planning that has been carried out by the team of Algarve investigators that was chosen to fulfil the requests from the Metropolitan Police that have been authorised by the Public Ministry.

Although the British police has already said that it wants to search at several locations in Praia da Luz, JN knows that diligences have been authorised at just one plot, the only one that was requested by the Metropolitan Police in the last letter rogatory. For searches at other locations, there will have to be another official request, which always depends on being granted by the Public Ministry.

The plot at stake is located near the Rua 25 de Abril, as JN has reported. It's a vast area, with thick, high vegetation, and several slopes. Due to the dimension and the characteristics of the area, the forecast is for the work to last for at least one week. And that is what is planned.

According to what JN was able to establish, there are no searches, and even less excavations, foreseen for the first day of diligences, which should be Monday. First, the entire team will have to observe and delimitate the area that will be investigated. After that, the following steps will be defined.

A British team is expected to travel to the Algarve, including detectives from London's Metropolitan Police, forensics experts, sniffer dogs and a geo radar to analyse the ground. The PJ has the exclusive competence of coordinating the entire operation. The British detectives cannot have any intervention.

DETAILS

Dead?

The most recent steps in the British investigation indicate that the possibility that is seen as the strongest is that Maddie is dead. Recently, the Metropolitan Police admitted, for the first time, that the investigation may be inconclusive.

British hurry
The British police's intention of making searches on other grounds appeared even before the first one was planned by the PJ. The request has to be made through a letter rogatory to the Attorney General's Office.

Repeated searches
The plot next to Rua 25 de Abril where the searches and excavations will take place was thoroughly searched by the GNR and by sniffer dogs, immediately after the disappearance of Maddie, seven years ago.

Portuguese police start digging for Madeleine McCann's body, 30 May 2014
Portuguese police start digging for Madeleine McCann's body Daily Star

THE police hunt for Madeleine McCann's final resting place has begun.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 30th May 2014

WASTELAND: This is where the focus of the search will take place [PH]

Portuguese officers searched a stretch of waste ground where the operation to find the missing youngster's body will start next week.

It is close to where a man was seen carrying a sleeping girl in pink pyjamas the night the then three year- old vanished, seven years ago.

An Irish family saw him walking off with the child around the time Madeleine’s mum Kate, 46, discovered her missing from her bed in the family's apartment at the nearby Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz.

Despite a Europe-wide TV appeal to trace the man, and the issuing of an efit, he has not been identified and remains the British police's prime suspect.

Several officers examined the area on foot and by car on Wednesday after driving to the Algarve resort from their Faro base an hour away.

Faro police chief Luis Mota Carmo led the site survey.

It had been thought police would start their search at fenced-off land next to the Ocean Club.

But the Portuguese police were spotted going over wasteland next to Rua 25 de Abril (25th of April Street) near the centre of the resort.

The large area of scrubland overlooking the Med is the only site British police have permission to search, Portuguese media reported.

Met Police are expected to provide sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar for next week's search, expected to last four to six days.

Kate and her husband Gerry, 45, continue to believe their daughter, who would now be 11, is still alive.

Maddie cops in scrubland trip, 30 May 2014
Maddie cops in scrubland trip The Sun (paper edition, page 12)

 
Maddie cops in scrubland trip - The Sun, 30 May 2014 (paper edition, page 12)

By MATT WILKINSON
Friday, 30 May, 2014


BRITISH detectives are to search a patch of scrubland close to where a man was seen carrying a child on the night Madeleine McCann disappeared.

Scotland Yard officers will use search dogs and ground-penetrating radar to hunt for clues near the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

Local cops have visited the plot, the size of three football pitches, just west of the town.

A source said: "The British will do the heavy work and the Portuguese will supervise."

The scrubland, which has dense bushes and 6ft trees blocking views from streets, is close to where tourist Martin Smith said he saw a little girl in pink pyjamas being carried by a man on the night Maddie, three, vanished in May 2007.

E-fits of the man were shown on Crimewatch last year, producing an "unprecedented" response. Several callers gave the same name. Det Chief Insp Andy Redwood, in charge of the Met's new inquiry, said tracing him was "of vital importance".

The scrubland was searched in the days after Maddie, of Rothley, Leics, disappeared from a holiday flat.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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