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

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Police Searches - Praia da Luz - Day One*

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

Local resident 'Nana' holds a sign: 'Dig up the lies not Luz'
Local resident 'Nana' holds a sign: 'Dig up the lies not Luz'

 

02 June 2014: British detectives arrive in Praia da Luz to begin searching an area of scrubland known locally as 'The Mound'. The area is cordoned off as detectives plot the terrain ahead of possible excavations.

However, the move is not welcomed by many local residents, including the mayor of Praia da Luz, coming as it does on the first day of the tourist season.

British police to start latest phase of Madeleine McCann hunt, 02 June 2014
British police to start latest phase of Madeleine McCann hunt Daily Express

British police will begin the latest phase in the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann today by excavating a number of sites in the Algarve.

By: Michael Pickard
Published: Mon, June 2, 2014

Madeleine McCann[PA]

 

Detectives are flying to Praia da Luz where Madeleine, three, vanished seven years ago in a new search for clues.

Officers will use radar penetration equipment to look for signs of soil disturbance while mechanical diggers will carry out full excavations. Trained sniffer dogs will also be used to search for human remains. The main target is a fenced-off wasteland area the size of three football pitches 100 yards from the Ocean Club apartment where her family was staying.

There were plans to build a new Irish-backed holiday hotel complex on the vacant site until the project was shelved after the economy in Ireland collapsed.

Three separate search warrants have been submitted to Portuguese Attorney-General's office and the investigation team is now awaiting final permission to start work

The new search operation, which could last up to a week, was instigated by Prime Minister David Cameron after Portuguese police failed to find Madeleine.

She went missing on May 3, 2007, while her parents Kate and Gerry were having dinner with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

Three separate search warrants have been submitted to Portuguese Attorney-General’s office and the investigation team is now awaiting final permission to start work.

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment yesterday. But last month, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said there would be a "substantial phase of activity involving Portuguese police with British police in support".

The Scotland Yard team also intends to interview eight Portuguese nationals. The costs of the work will be met by Scotland Yard.

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

Updated article (overwriting article above):

Maddie McCann: Police seal off area to dig Daily Express

BRITISH police probing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have reportedly cordoned off an area in Portugal before they begin digging.

By: Max Evans
Published: Mon, June 2, 2014

Missing Madeleine McCann[PA]

Detectives have flown to Praia da Luz where Maddie, three, vanished seven years ago in a new search for clues.

Officers have identified a number of potential search sites near to where she went missing while on holiday with her family in 2007.

The trail has lead investigators to scrubland close to the apartment where the McCanns had been staying at the time, according to reports.

The site was previously an open area but is now scheduled for development.

Police have cordoned off an area in Praia da Luz [BBC]

Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry McCann are not believed to have travelled to Portugal as part of the new investigations.

During the latest round of searches in Portugal, Officers will use radar penetration equipment to look for signs of soil disturbance while mechanical diggers will carry out full excavations.

Trained sniffer dogs will also be used to search for human remains. The main target is a fenced-off wasteland area the size of three football pitches 100 yards from the Ocean Club apartment where her family was staying.

There were plans to build a new Irish-backed holiday hotel complex on the vacant site until the project was shelved after the economy in Ireland collapsed.

Three separate search warrants have been submitted to Portuguese Attorney-General's office.

Portuguese police near the scrubland in Praia da Luz [STEVE REIGATE]

The new search operation, which could last up to a week, was instigated by Prime Minister David Cameron after Portuguese police failed to find Madeleine.

She went missing on May 3, 2007, while her parents were having dinner with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

The Metropolitan Police declined to comment on the operation. But last month, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said there would be a "substantial phase of activity involving Portuguese police with British police in support".

The Scotland Yard team also intends to interview eight Portuguese nationals. The costs of the work will be met by Scotland Yard.

The Praia Da Luz holiday resort in Portugal [PA]

'Come and dig up my garden' says mother of cleared Maddie suspect, 02 June 2014
'Come and dig up my garden' says mother of cleared Maddie suspect Daily Star

A MUM whose son was cleared as a suspect in Madeleine McCann's disappearance welcomed the new police search.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 2nd June 2014

ULTIMATUM: The mother of ex-suspect Robert Murat is confident that Police would return empty-handed if they took her up on her offer of digging in the family's back garden [EPA / MARK KEHOE ]

Jenny Murat told British detectives: "Come and dig up my garden if you think it will help your search."

Her son Robert Murat, 40, has been probed then eliminated as an official suspect – or arguido – by Portuguese police.

She added: "They won't find a thing but if they need to do it as part of their investigation they're welcome.

"That poor girl's parents need some answers after seven years."

British ex-pat Jenny, 78, lives just 100 yards away from the holiday flat in Portugal's Praia da Luz where Maddie vanished. She said Scotland Yard had not been in contact yet.

She was speaking as British and Portuguese police prepare to dig up parts of the resort.

She added: "I've had it all before when my son Robert was living here and now I'm thinking: 'Not again.'

"But if it helps police rule out a certain scenario, let it be. We've got nothing to hide."

She added: "I've been away in England for a while but I'm home now and my garden's overgrown and full of weeds."

She said police had originally searched her home and garden in July 2007, just two months after the then three-year-old vanished as her parents dined nearby. She said: "I remember it only too well.

"There were six policemen with sniffer dogs all over the place."

She insists the new dig will anger locals adding: "They feel it could ruin our tourism industry."

Madeleine McCann: British police to meet Portuguese counterparts as digging set to start at resort where she disappeared, 02 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: British police to meet Portuguese counterparts as digging set to start at resort where she disappeared Daily Mirror

Jun 02, 2014 01:19 | By Martin Fricker

A forensic archaeologist, sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar are all set to be used in the operation in Praia da Luz

Madeleine McCann/Praia da Luz - PA / Roland Leon / Daily Mirror

British police are expected to meet their Portuguese counterparts today to finalise details of a search that could provide clues to the fate of Madeleine McCann.

With detectives ready to scour three areas close to where Madeleine vanished in May, 2007, it raises fears for parents Kate and Gerry that evidence will be found that their daughter is dead.

It is understood a forensic archaeologist, sniffer dogs and ground-penetrating radar will be used in the operation in Praia da Luz.

Diggers from nearby Lagos will arrive at the sites later this week.

The main targets of the searches are a fenced-off, vacant building lot, wasteland on a hill overlooking the resort's beach and another site outside the resort.

Portuguese police will not take part in the new searches, though a senior officer will oversee the operation.

The Scotland Yard team also hopes to interview eight Portuguese nationals, though it is not clear if they are regarded as suspects or witnesses.

Former GP Kate, 46, and heart specialist Gerry, 45, from Rothley, Leics, are staying away from the resort while ground operations go ahead.

A source said: "This is a critical time in the British investigation and could provide the big breakthrough in the case.

"Obviously there is the chance her body could be found.

"That is a nightmare scenario for her family, but it would also bring closure.

"They understandably have to remain positive and assume Madeleine is alive, but the dig raises the possibility of finding evidence that she is not."

Madeleine Cops Seal Off Praia Da Luz Scrubland, 02 June 2014
Madeleine Cops Seal Off Praia Da Luz Scrubland Sky News (with video)

9:56am UK, Monday 02 June 2014

Police examine an area of land to the west of the resort where Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in 2007.

Video: Tom Parmenter reports from Praia da Luz where scrubland has been closed off

By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent, in Praia da Luz

Police investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance have sealed off a search area as they prepare to begin excavations in Praia da Luz.

A team of Portuguese police officers, some with dogs, and at least four vehicles have been stationed on a mound to the west of the town since early this morning.

They are expected to be in the area for days as they work to identify anomalies in the terrain which may merit further investigation by digging.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police team that has been spearheading the new investigation are not currently at the site.

An area in the Praia da Luz resort has been sealed off

An area in the Praia da Luz resort has been sealed off

The development marks a significant new phase of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance while she was on holiday with her family in the Portuguese resort in May 2007.

The latest police activity is taking place at one of several areas in and around Praia da Luz identified as potential search sites.

They include another area of scrubland close to the apartment in the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns had been staying.

The land which had been earmarked for development is now fenced off but was an open area on the night Madeleine vanished.

The search area is to the west of where the family stayed on holiday

The search area is to the west of where the family stayed on holiday

Her parents Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal but will be kept up to date with any developments.

The area cordoned off this morning has been searched before.

British expat residents in Praia da Luz confirmed to Sky News that they had recently seen a military aircraft flying for long periods possibly conducting aerial reconnaissance. 

Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal for the search

 

Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal for the search

Former Metropolitan Police search adviser Keith Farquharson told Sky News: "They wouldn't just be identifying that part by plucking it out of thin air they have obviously got hard information and the evidence trail is leading to that particular area."

Explaining what is likely to happen next, Mr Farquharson said: "The area will be properly mapped with GPS co-ordinates for each one of those sites.

"Those areas will then be broken into smaller areas which will be easier to search, then you would send in the ground penetrating radar which will look for anomalies below the surface.

"Once those anomalies are identified then in my experience you would deploy victim recovery dogs to those particular areas."

As they are working alongside the Portuguese authorities, the Metropolitan Police are giving out very few details about the new phase of the investigation or how long it will last.

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

Search Will Follow 'Tried And Tested' Method [side article]

Updated: 7:35am UK, Monday 02 June 2014

By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent, in Praia da Luz

The new searches in Praia Da Luz by police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCannn will follow tried and tested principles.


Former Metropolitan Police search adviser Keith Farquharson explained to Sky News how the teams will work to try to narrow down the search.

He said: "The investigation team will have done their background work on where they think their suspect will have gone once they had decamped from the scene.

"They will fit that around the profile of the most likely deposition sites for the body, if that is the case.

"They will involve a search adviser who will put together the search plan - then they advise the senior investigating officer that you need to fly over the areas that you want to search.

"It will then be analysed to see if there is any ground disturbance or any anomalies from looking down from the air.

"The area will be properly mapped with GPS coordinates for each one of those sites.

"Those areas will then be broken into smaller areas or chunks of land, which will be easier to search.

"Then you would send in the ground penetrating radar which will look for anomalies.

"It will show anomalies within the earth structure but it won't show a skeleton like an X-ray would - it would just show the anomaly in the ground.

"So that would have to be investigated and the best way to do that initially is victim recovery dogs and the methods they use.

"Once they have been through, if they don't find anything then it is decision time for the senior investigating officer - do they want all of those sites dug and physically searched?

"The searching can then be physically done by humans or digging machines can be brought in.

"When you have finished it, whether or not you have found a body or deposition site, you have got to be able to say hand on heart to the senior investigating officer either 'we have found what we have been looking for, and we have recovered it properly and we haven't compromised any evidence'.

"Or, 'we haven't found it and it definitely isn't there,' which is almost as useful because you are discounting part of that land from that part of the investigation."

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

Transcript of short video

 
Video: Tom Parmenter reports from Praia da Luz where scrubland has been closed off

 
Video: Tom Parmenter reports from Praia da Luz where scrubland has been closed off

 
Video: Tom Parmenter reports from Praia da Luz where scrubland has been closed off

 
Video: Tom Parmenter reports from Praia da Luz where scrubland has been closed off

 

By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: The police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has this morning entered a new phase.

You can see some of the area behind me. This is an area of scrubland in Praia da Luz about half a mile or so away from the apartment, where Madeleine vanished back in 2007, and this now has been sealed off, in the last 20 minutes or so, by the local Portuguese police.

And this is the first stage of a series of searches that British police will be involved in over the coming days, here in Portugal, to try to go over once again old ground to try and understand what happened seven years ago.

And you can see this mound. It's quite a distinctive landform here, just to the west of where the Madeleine... Madeleine McCann vanished, and we've seen officers here looking out through binoculars from that mound. It's almost a bit of a vantage point but, once again, it is scrubland, it is the kind of area that would have been open on that night in 2007 when Madeleine vanished.

And the process that we can expect to see, errr...from this point, is one of these sites being secured and then a careful, methodical process that is tried and tested, errr... on previous searches and investigations in which we will, in all likelihood, see ground-penetrating radar brought in to try to look beneath the surface and then if there are any anomalies picked up, within that surface, then perhaps we will see police dogs and also digging.

So, it will be a slow careful process that is starting here this morning but it is the most visible breakthrough, in as much as the police are back here, working in Praia da Luz looking for clues in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

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

Main article updated with new graphic:

Madeleine Cops Seal Off Praia Da Luz Scrubland Sky News

11:07am UK, Monday 02 June 2014

Police examine an area of land to the west of the resort where Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in 2007.

(...)

An area has been sealed off near the Ocean Club where the family stayed

An area has been sealed off near the Ocean Club where the family stayed

(...)

Madeleine McCann: police search scrubland in Praia da Luz, 02 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: police search scrubland in Praia da Luz The Guardian

Portuguese police to use ground-penetrating radar at wasteland 300m from apartment where girl disappeared in 2007

Mark Tran
Monday 2 June 2014 10.06 BST

Portuguese police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have cordoned off the Praia da Luz scrubland. Photograph: Luis Forra/EPA

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have sealed off an area of scrubland in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz to begin fresh searches, which are expected to involve the use of ground-penetrating radar.

The equipment will detect whether the ground has been disturbed and excavations of any site could then follow.

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

The BBC reported that the operation was under way on Monday, with Portuguese police and dogs at the site, which is surrounded by flats and villas, many of them holiday properties. The initial search, involving a dozen British officers who will oversee the effort, is to focus on wasteland 300 metres from the Ocean Club apartments, where the McCanns were staying. The ground, which had been used to grow cabbages, is now hard and covered with bushes and thick grass.

The site has reportedly been selected because of its proximity to the Ocean Club resort and because it is in the direction of the spot where a suspect was seen walking with a little girl in his arms the night of Madeleine's disappearance.

The ground searches are expected to focus on three parts of the resort where three-year-old 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.

Metropolitan police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley said last month the operation in Praia da Luz did not amount to a significant breakthrough, instead 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 appealed for media restraint ahead of the searches, a call that was echoed by a Polícia Judiciária source in Lisbon who insisted the investigation would not be "transformed into a media circus".

The renewed searches followed negotiations between Britain and Portugal involving various international letters of request from Britain. Each search requires prior approval from prosecutors in Portugal. British police began a review of the case in 2011 at the instigation of David Cameron following appeals from the McCanns and then launched their own investigation.

Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal search scrubland, 02 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal search scrubland BBC News (with video)

2 June 2014 Last updated at 11:33

 
Police will use sophisticated equipment to look for signs of disturbed earth

 

Police will use sophisticated equipment to look for signs of disturbed earth

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have sealed off a large area of scrubland in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

The British girl was three when she went missing in the resort in 2007.

On 22 May Scotland Yard said a "substantial phase of operational activity" would start in Portugal in the coming weeks.

The BBC understands that has started, with Portuguese police at the scene and UK officers expected to join them.

Police are expected to use dogs and "ground penetrating radar" to search the area, looking for disturbed earth.

The scrubland is being searched after a request from the Metropolitan Police.

Similar requests have been made for two other locations in Praia da Luz.

It is believed that UK police officers arrived in Portugal on Sunday and Scotland Yard is providing some of the technical equipment to be used in the search.

The area of scrubland - about the size of three football pitches - is surrounded by flats and villas, many of them holiday properties.

It is about five minutes' walk from the Ocean Club complex, where the McCanns were staying when Madeleine disappeared.

Scrubland search area, Praia da Luz

 
Scrubland search area, Praia da Luz

 

A 77-year-old man who has lived near the area of scrubland for 13 years told the BBC the latest search was "ridiculous".

"The police have been here before," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"We all helped search this area three or four days after it [Madeleine's disappearance] happened.

"I walk my dog every day and no one was digging holes."

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

At the scene

 
At the scene

By Lauren Turner

The first residents knew of anything happening on this scrubland was when they were disturbed by barking dogs in the early hours.

The private land - earmarked for a development that was never built - was accessible last night but is now completely sealed off by the yellow and white tape of the GNR, the national police.

Portuguese officers, wearing sunglasses in the fierce sunshine, are standing guard at the perimeter of the site, which stretches down towards the coast.

The police have been joined by a large contingent from the media, who have cameras trained on the ground as they await developments. The only words being exchanged between officers and journalists is the occasional "bom dia" - or "good morning".

The scene is being watched too by locals walking past, or on their morning jog, and those in holiday apartments with balconies overlooking the Atlantic.

The view would ordinarily be picturesque but has been transformed today as the eyes of the world turn to this small Algarve resort again.


 
Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in 2007

Madeleine McCann went missing in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz in 2007

Stewart Drummond, 68, from Eaglesham, near Glasgow, who has been coming to Praia da Luz with his wife Janice for 27 years, said: "It's a pity it's taken so long to get to this stage.

"Talking to locals especially, they feel that they want to move on.

"Every time anything happens, it puts the resort back in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

"But obviously everyone wants to see closure for the McCann family and if they find something, it would give them that.

"As parents, we feel for the family - for it to happen in such a 'safe' place makes it all the more tragic."

Mrs Drummond said she thought holidaymakers would not be put off coming to the resort by the latest developments.

"I don't think people were really aware this would be happening this week though.

"For the first year or two some British families stayed away but now it's back to normal."

 
Police, whose vehicle is just visible on top of the mound, are searching scrubland overlooking the sea

Police, whose vehicle is just visible on top of the mound, are searching scrubland overlooking the sea

 
The area was taped off in the early hours of Monday

 

The area was taped off in the early hours of Monday

Scotland Yard launched a fresh investigation into Madeleine's disappearance last July, codenamed Operation Grange.

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

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

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

Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal search scrubland BBC News video

Tom Burridge reports from Praia da Luz

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have sealed off a large area of scrubland in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

The British girl was three when she went missing in the resort in 2007.

On 22 May Scotland Yard said a "substantial phase of operational activity" would start in Portugal in the coming weeks.

Sources in Portugal told the BBC that had now started, and police with dogs are at the scene.

Tom Burridge reports.

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

Transcript of short video

 
Police in Portugal search scrubland

 
Police in Portugal search scrubland

 
Police in Portugal search scrubland

 
Police in Portugal search scrubland

By Nigel Moore

Tom Burridge: Well, this area is fairly extensive here, behind me. It stretches down to some apartments that way, and back up the other way as well, and you can see that mound in the distance where police vehicles have been since the early hours of this morning.

It's been taped off, errr... completely, so we believe over the next few days that British detectives, from the Metropolitan Police, will be working alongside their Portuguese colleagues essentially searching this area of land. We believe they could be using, errr... ground-penetrating radar which is technology that essentially allows them to map the ground underneath, errr... this area of land, possibly to look for clues, evidence, whatever they might else be searching for in the investigation into the disappearance into Madeleine McCann and... Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

And, of course, the request for them to search this area of land initially came from the Metropolitan Police. Errr... We believe there are two other areas of land, in Praia da Luz, which British detectives would also like to search, errr... in the coming days and weeks.

Live: Madeleine McCann police seal off land in Praia da Luz as two-day search begins, 02 June 2014
Live: Madeleine McCann police seal off land in Praia da Luz as two-day search begins Daily Mirror

Jun 02, 2014 08:54 | By Steve Robson

All the latest from the Portuguese resort where police are hoping for a breakthrough

Gallery

 
This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, which has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine.

This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, which has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine.
 
ABDOCTORS R US

Portuguese police move in to an area of waste land on the west side of Praia Da Luz as new searches are launched in conjunction with British police in the hope of finding what happened to Maddie McCann.
 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
ABDOCTORS R US

 
ABDOCTORS R US

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 
Dig for missing Madeleine

 

 

 8:29 am 

Welcome to our live blog where we will bring you all the latest from the Madeleine McCann investigation in Praia Da Luz.

A two-day search is due to begin near to the resort where the toddler vanished in 2007.

A large area of scrubland was sealed off in the early hours of this morning.

British police arrived last night and have met their Portuguese counterparts to finalise details of a search that is set to begin this morning.

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



 8:34 am 

British and Portuguese police are expected to spend two days at this search site before carrying out excavations at two more sites in PdL

 

[Text version of above]

Martin Fricker
@martinfricker

British and Portuguese police are expected to spend two days at this search site before carrying out excavations at two more sites in PdL

7:39 AM - 2 Jun 2014

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

 8:45 am 

Scotland Yard detectives flew into Portugal from Gatwick last night.

They will meet with their Portuguese counterparts at the digging sites this morning.

The plan is to scour three areas close to where Madeleine vanished in May 2007.

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

 8:54 am 

A hill overlooking the resort is just one of the main targets which will be searched.

Others include a building lot and another site outside the resort.

This picture from the BBC's Alex Littlewood shows the hill.

 
To give a sense of scale of what will be searched. The whole hilled area in pic is cordoned off. #MadeleineMcCann

To give a sense of scale of what will be searched. The whole hilled area in pic is cordoned off. #MadeleineMcCann

 

[Text version of above]

Alex Littlewood
@westnewsprod

To give a sense of scale of what will be searched. The whole hilled area in pic is cordoned off. #MadeleineMcCann

8:33 AM - 2 Jun 2014

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

 9:08 am 

This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine

 

This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine

This was Portuguese police gathering on the hilltop earlier this morning.

They have since cordoned off a large area ahead of a dig.

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

 9:22 am 

Here's an aerial photo outlining where the search will be taking place.

 

Here's an aerial photo outlining where the search will be taking place.

It's an area around 300m from the apartment complex where Madeleine was staying with her family in 2007.

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

 9:35 am 

Martin Fricker

 

"Detectives from Operation Grange held a meeting with their Portuguese counterparts in Faro this morning.

"Meanwhile local officers in Praia da Luz were seen scouring the scrubland with binoculars while colleagues patrolled with dogs.

"When digging begins, large white tents are expected to be erected to shield the scene from public eyes."

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

 9:48 am 

One line of inquiry for Scotland Yard is a lone male paedophile who staged a series of sex attacks on young British girls while they were 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, including one in 2005 on a 10-year-old girl in Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished two years later.

Hundreds of people have already made contact with police in response to appeals for help to find the attacker.

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

 10:05 am 

This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine

 

This hilltop in Praia da Luz, Portugal, has been sealed off by police who are about to start digging as they hunt for missing Madeleine

Local Portuguese officers have been spotted organising where the search will take place this morning.

Nearby roads have also been cordoned off.

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

 10:31 am 

Martin Fricker

 

[Text version of above]

Martin Fricker
@martinfricker

British detectives have just arrived at the temporary police command centre in Praia da Luz to prepare for the search #Madeleine

9:29 AM - 2 Jun 2014

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

 10:50 am 

More police officers arriving at the cordon now.

 
More Portuguese police officers arriving now in Praia da Luz as the Madeleine McCann search begins on scrubland.

More Portuguese police officers arriving now in Praia da Luz as the Madeleine McCann search begins on scrubland.

[Text version of above]

Jon Kay
@jonkay01

More Portuguese police officers arriving now in Praia da Luz as the Madeleine McCann search begins on scrubland.

10:27 AM - 2 Jun 2014

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

 11:34 am 

Locals seem less than impressed that this search has started up again.

A 77-year-old man told the BBC he thinks it is "ridiculous".

"The police have been here before," said the man, who did not want to be named.

"We all helped search this area three or four days after it [Madeleine's disappearance] happened.

"I walk my dog every day and no one was digging holes."

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

 11:44 am 

Martin Fricker

 

"British police arrived at the scrubland at 11.15am after holding a briefing with their Portuguese counterparts in a local municipal building.

"The detectives and uniformed officers were surrounded by local TV crews and photographers as they emerged from the Municipal Mercado and drove the short distance to the search area.

"Four cars and a Europcar van - with ground radar in the back - used a back entrance to get onto the cordoned off site.

"As I write this, three teams are walking around the area scoping possible digging sites.

"Locals appear unhappy with the media once again descending on Praia da Luz and bringing unwanted attention to the resort just as the prime tourist season is getting underway."

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

 12:09 am 

Today's development comes two weeks after Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley from Scotland Yard said officers are working through every credible line of inquiry in the search for Madeleine.

He said: "In the forthcoming weeks we are going to be going to a substantial phase of operational activity on the ground in Portugal.

"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 week doesn't mean that it's going to immediately lead to answers that will explain everything."

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

 12:36 am 

 
British detectives and officers walking inside the search area. Spades and surveying equipment unloaded from vans

British detectives and officers walking inside the search area. Spades and surveying equipment unloaded from vans

 

[Text version of above]

Martin Fricker
@martinfricker

British detectives and officers walking inside the search area. Spades and surveying equipment unloaded from vans

12:35 PM - 2 Jun 2014

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

 1:05 pm 

British officers are now reportedly on the scene in Praia da Luz and in discussions with their Portuguese

 
British officers discussing the search area with their Portuguese counterparts.

British officers discussing the search area with their Portuguese counterparts.

 

[Text version of above]

Gareth Owen
@GarethITV

British officers discussing the search area with their Portuguese counterparts. #MadeleineMcCann @ITVCentral

11:54 AM - 2 Jun 2014

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 1:39 pm 

Police seem to be examining scrubland in more detail now.

 
UK police now move into Praia Da Luz search site.

UK police now move into Praia Da Luz search site.

[Text version of above]

Peter Lane
@peterlane5news

More on Madeleine #McCann
UK police now move into Praia Da Luz search site.
Details and live update @5_News

1:03 PM - 2 Jun 2014

Maddie: excavations begin today, 02 June 2014
Maddie: excavations begin today tvi24

13 photos

2014-06-02

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations start today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations begin today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations begin today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations begin today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations begin today, 02 June 2014

 
Maddie excavations begin today, 02 June 2014

 

Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal begin scrubland search, 02 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: Police in Portugal begin scrubland search BBC News video

John Ballinger, Praia da Luz resident, talks to Jon Kay

 

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have started surveying a large section of scrubland in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.

On 22 May Scotland Yard said a "substantial phase of operational activity" would start in Portugal in the coming weeks.

Police officers from the UK and Portugal are cooperating on the search of the area.

Jon Kay reports from Portugal.

--------------------------
Screenshots

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search

 

--------------------------
 


Transcript


By Nigel Moore

Jon Kay: [voice over] After seven years, a new start in the hunt for Madeleine McCann.

Police cordoned off this arid wasteland at sunrise to begin their largest search so far.

With passing holidaymakers just hoping the McCanns will finally get some answers.

 
Marilyn Saunders


 

Marilyn Saunders: [Tourist] It must be dreadful for them. I can't imagine what it must be like, and particularly after all these years.

Jon Kay: [voice over] Madeleine was just three-years-old when she vanished during a family holiday here.

She'd been staying in an apartment at the Ocean Club. The area that's now being searched is a 10 minute walk away, on the way down to Praia da Luz beach.

Ex-pat John Ballinger was here on the night Madeleine was reported missing.

 
John Ballinger

 

[to Mr Ballinger] Can you remember this area being searched?

John Ballinger: No...

Jon Kay: At the time, seven years ago.

John Ballinger: No, no... no. I don't think it was even entered into it. I don't think it's ever been mentioned until very recently.

Jon Kay: [voice over] It's not clear whether this search is based on new information but it was requested by the British police, who are here assisting the Portuguese.

Inside these tents is special radar kit which can look deep underground to detect if the earth has been disturbed.

[to camera] There's about 15 acres of scrubland here and before they can do any groundwork the team's have got to measure out every single inch of this site with... with surveying equipment.

[voice over] But some here are angry that the search is starting just as the summer season gets underway.

 
Police in Portugal begin scrubland search


 

The mayor, Victor Mata, told me it should wait till the autumn, after the tourists have gone and he said local people may take legal action to stop the search if holidaymakers start cancelling their visits.

The real work is expected to start tomorrow and last all week but then there are two more areas that police also want to search.

Jon Kay, BBC News, Praia da Luz.

Madeleine McCann: UK Cops Search Scrubland, 02 June 2014
Madeleine McCann: UK Cops Search Scrubland Sky News (with video)

8:59pm UK, Monday 02 June 2014

A team of around 30 have travelled to Praia da Luz and began by unloading equipment and mapping out the four acre site.

Video: Madeleine: Police To Start Digging

 

By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent, in Praia da Luz

British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A team of around 30 officers and police staff have travelled to Praia da Luz and began by unloading equipment and mapping out the four acre site.

The cordoned off area is a five-minute walk from the Ocean Club complex where Madeleine, who was three at the time, was staying with her family in May 2007.

Parents Gerry and Kate McCann will be kept updated but have not travelled to Portugal.

An area has been sealed off near the Ocean Club where the family stayed

 

An area has been sealed off near the Ocean Club where the family stayed

The agreement between the Metropolitan Police and their Portuguese counterparts is limited to one search area after the British team failed to get permission to search elsewhere in the resort.

It is understood they will use ground penetrating radar to identify any anomalies within the ground that may warrant further investigation with police dogs or physical digging.

Other potential search sites include another area of scrubland close to the McCanns' holiday apartment.

The land which had been earmarked for development is now fenced off but was an open area on the night Madeleine vanished.

An area in the Praia da Luz resort has been sealed off

 

Police arrived early in the morning to secure the scrubland

Former Scotland Yard detective Peter Bleksley told Sky News the radar equipment likely to be used in the operation can detect if the ground has been disturbed as far back as seven years ago.

British expat residents in the town have confirmed they recently saw a military aircraft flying for long periods possibly conducting aerial reconnaissance.

The renewed activity by authorities has caused anger in the resort among expats and business owners who just want to move on.

One Dutch resident, called 'Nana', complained that the police and the press are back.

Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal for the search

 

Kate and Gerry McCann have not travelled to Portugal for the search

She told Sky News the timing of the search at the start of the tourist season was "outrageous" and doing "tremendous" damage to the town, adding: "Luz is totally innocent."

She also wore a sign around her neck, saying: "Dig up the lies not Luz."

'Nana' denied police were doing everything they could, saying "they are on the wrong path".

The publisher of the Portugal News newspaper Paul Luckman who lives nearby said the local police are co-operating with the British teams.

He said: "They are going to do what is asked of them, they will do it professionally and properly...our information is that it will go on until the end of this week.

"I think realistically we have to say we have reached the end of the line here....there isn't anything left to do after this."

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

Locals 'Deeply Sceptical' Of Search [side article]

Updated: 9:38pm UK, Monday 02 June 2014

By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent, in Praia da Luz

Some 24 hours before the police sealed off the scrubland in Praia da Luz, I was jogging through it on a morning run.

There are a few tracks and narrow roads within it that lead down towards the striking Algarve coastline.

People have used the tracks for the last seven years and the whole area was scoured by search teams in the days and weeks after Madeleine McCann disappeared.

People who live and work here cannot understand why the Metropolitan Police are doing it - many feel persecuted particularly as this is the start of their vital summer season.

Insiders on these kind of searches tell us the police must have something.

It is unlikely there would be anything of significance amongst the trees and undergrowth but the police will look deeper underground.

They will scan the rocky subsurface with kit than can look up to four metres down.

If there is something out of place here the police will find it.

But the locals are deeply sceptical and just want them to pack up their equipment and run off into the sunset.

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

Screenshots

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 
British police teams have started a search of scrubland on the Algarve in their renewed investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

 

---------

Transcript of video 1


By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: [voice over] Just before the sun rose on the Algarve, the Portuguese police moved in.

A few hours later, this large area of scrubland was crawling with search teams.

British officers marking out Portuguese territory.

A joint operation to see if there is anything here that explains what happened to Madeleine McCann seven years ago.

The scrubland is a 10-minute walk along the coast from the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns were staying.

The area was searched back in 2007.

First the area will be mapped out, then it will be scanned using radar - and if that turns up anomalies beneath the surface, sniffer dogs will be used. If areas of interest are identified, digging will begin.

But turning up to conduct these searches, just as Praia da Luz is starting its tourist season, hasn't gone down well.

'Nana': [Praia da Luz resident] There's enough time, all the rest of the year when there's no-one here. Errm... it's... it's damaging Luz because Luz is a very peaceful, quiet, wonderful paradise.

Tom Parmenter: [voice over] The British police wanted  to search other parts of this town but have so far only been given permission to work here.

It will take days but they are determined to do it.

Paul Luckman: [Publisher, The Portugal News] They're going to do what's been asked of them; they will do it properly; they will do it thoroughly. I guess... our information is that it will go on until the end of this week. At that point, I think it will finish and I really think it's going to be very hard to convince the authorities - and that's the Attorney General or a judge - to allow them to do anything like this again.

Tom Parmenter: [voice over] Plotting out this search has taken months.

The McCann family, of course, will be kept updated.

It feels like progress but everyone knows that the answers may simply not be here.

Tom Parmenter, Sky News, Praia da Luz.

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

Video: Madeleine Search And The Media Sky News

Tom Parmenter

8:59pm UK, Monday 02 June 2014

Police officers involved in the search for Madeleine McCann have told the media that they'll suspend operations if there's any attempt to interfere with their work. Tom Parmenter explains.

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

Transcript of video 2

By Nigel Moore

Tom Parmenter: With such a burst of activity - cordoning off this area and the British police team's arriving with their equipment - inevitably the focus is back on Praia da Luz.

And the police have been very clear to the media, saying that if this turns into a media circus - such as the kind of frenzy they saw here back in 2007, in the days and weeks after Madeleine disappeared - these searches will simply stop. The police - the British and the Portuguese - will call it a day, move away, and wait for the media to disappear.

It is a difficult balance but they know that they need to be able to get on with this work undisturbed and what we've seen so far is a certain termination [sic: determination] from the press to make sure that they're not the ones who delays or impedes the searches that are going on.

No-one wants to get in the way of the police investigation but, of course, this big burst of police activity, a great deal of money - British taxpayer's money - being spent, of course, there is interest, because this is one of the great mysteries of the last decade.

So, it is in all likelihood going to be our home for the next week or so, as we wait and watch. The media are not going to be briefed by the police on an ongoing basis. We're just going to have to see what happens here and whether or not they find anything that helps them understand what happened to Madeleine seven years ago.

 

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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