British police rivalry ‘harmed hunt’ for Maddy

Competition between British police forces hindered the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and have had a long-term negative effect on the case, according to the author of an unpublished British Home Office report.

British police rivalry   ‘harmed hunt’ for Maddy

Its author, Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also told Sky News that so many agencies from the UK got involved with the investigation it damaged relations with Portuguese police.

Within weeks of the three-year-old going missing from Praia da Luz in May 2007, the child protection centre, the Metropolitan Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the National Police Improvement Agency all intervened, creating “frustration” and “resentment” among Portuguese officers, his report found.

Gamble, whose report was commissioned by former home secretary Alan Johnson in 2009, said the initial response to her disappearance was “haphazard” and that local police had failed to follow up potentially crucial information.

However, he said Britain was warned not to try to behave as a “colonial power” after challenges to the approach to the investigation of the Portuguese police.

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