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Mark Williams-Thomas on Radio Five Live



Original Source: RADIO 5 LIVE: WEDNESDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2010
November 4, 2010 ? jjp000

With thanks to JJP for transcript


 Mark Williams-Thomas contributed to a phone-in on Radio Five Live with Nicky Campbell yesterday, November 3rd with transcript below.


Woman on phone (Naimh???) ?I'd like to see what kind of a Mickey Mouse search, you know, police investigation was done by the Portugal, err, police?

Nicky Campbell Well, I'll tell you what, let me stop you there.  I'll come back to you because, Mark Williams Thomas, you know stuff about, you know a lot about that, don't you?

Mark Williams-Thomas Good morning.  Yes I do.  Yes, I mean I think Gerry and Kate have come out now talking for two reasons. One, to try and keep that profile there and to talk about the effect it's had on them.  And I think its important to remember, of course, that as a parent you will never give up the search for your child.  Last year I met Patty Wetterling in the US. Her son was abducted at the age of eleven, Jacob. He's still missing.  And Patty still goes through it constantly every single day.  And bringing it to the home shores, Ruth Wilson who went missing on the 27th of November, 95.  I know Ruth's parents very, very well and worked with them. And she's missing and she vanished at the age of sixteen. No sight or anything at all,  And these parents will never give up.  Every single phone call that they get, particularly around anniversaries and Christmas they wait in anticipation that they will get some news.  So Gerry and Kate will never give up.

But obviously what they are asking for now is a re-investigation over some of the elements of it.  And if we go back to the initial stage there was obviously an awful lot that was done, there was an awful lot that wasn't done.  But we mustn't forget that this is a Portuguese investigation and however much influence the British have over Portugal .it is ultimately their investigation.  They've conducted what they consider to be an investigation.  There are no new leads or inquiries that would require them to open the investigation.  The one thing that Gerry and Kate could do with all the Tapas would be to go back to the Portuguese police and say we will co-operate 100% with a review in relation to a reconstruction.  And don't forget that reconstruction was something that never took place and at the time I was certainly saying that reconstruction would have been very valuable but they would all have to co-operate.

NC I'm sure I remember a reconstruction on television, watching it being re-enacted.

MWT Not with Gerry and Kate other than they went back with their own investigators and did a kind of reconstruction.  The Portuguese police wanted to do a full reconstruction with all the Tapas and with everyone back in their?, going through the process (????????)

NC Well, where do you think Madeleine is now?

MWT Well the sad reality is that when children go missing the main age group for children to go missing is ten to 16. That's where the high numbers are. But between the ages of 1 and 4, which is obviously what Madeleine was at the time, within the period of 8 minutes and there are some interesting statistics here, is 20% of children between the ages of 1 and 4 will be located within 8 minutes.  99% of those children will be located within 196 minutes.  So that shows you the sheer, the percentage of children who will be recovered very quickly.  And out of those 98% of those children will be found within 1.2 kilometres of the location to which they have gone missing.

Where do I think Madeleine is now?  Well Madeleine was?  I still believe that Madeleine was abducted outside the apartment. She walked outside the apartment and that's where she was abducted.  Gerry and Kate have got to keep hope that Madeleine isn't dead and until such time as they have got some confirmation and direct intelligence that tells them that she is dead they will always live on the hope that she will return.  The sad reality is that is probably very unlikely.

Naimh Can I just say?

NC Yeah Naimh(?????)

Naimh ?that your statistics were for Britain and I am sure they don't hold true for Portugal.  I'm sure the British Government could have applied some pressure.  I mean, you could have a special investigation where the British police, I know if someone went missing here in England it would be a completely different scenario.  The child would be found in the next 24 hours, 48 hours or whatever.  You know, they need to have a special department, I mean instead of wasting money on stop and search.  I was hearing on your radio that they did a hundred thousand stop and searches and 99.9% were useless, you know.  Instead of spending those resources on frightening the community, you know, we should spend it on situations where we can help parents where children, especially young children, 1 -10, go missing, abroad, you know.

MWT I think, I'll just pick up on that point. I think you are absolutely right as far as knowledge as to how to investigate missing children has improved incredibly.  And I was at a conference yesterday, the national Missing Persons Conference in Coventry and there is clearly an awful lot is now being done, is being done co-ordinated using agencies as well as the police service to help find missing children.  And in Portugal they are some way behind.  I think from a policing point of view they are probably five, maybe six years, maybe even more than that behind in the way they deal with missing children and indeed some of their other investigations.  But I think now, if a child goes missing in the UK, there is a incredible amount of resources that are pulled in and worked on to be able to find that child very quickly and, of course, we have experience of that.

NC OK. Its 9.30 and I am grateful to Naimh(????) and also John in Dunbarton


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