Madeleine McCann disappeared from her family’s vacation home in Portugal seven years ago, and now that the case surrounding her disappearance has been reopened, a new report has been released that says the investigation may have been hampered.
The issue, the report says, was that so many different police agencies got involved from the UK that their relationship with Portugal was damaged, which had a negative effect on the investigation. Published by former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, Jim Gamble, the report actually had a hand in the reopening of the case last year.
Because the McCann family was from Leicestershire, the police force there got involved in the investigation. The case quickly became international as the search for the toddler grew, with more and more agencies getting involved.
According to the Telegraph, Gamble says the Leicestershire Police were not prepared to handle such a large case, but wanted to help in any way they could.
“All of us, including myself at CEOP at the time, your first gut reaction is you want to help, a child has gone missing … so everyone came with best intention, that created a sense of chaos and a sense of competition, people putting their hand up and wanting to help and in many instances in my opinion wanting to be seen to help. If we look at it honestly there were some in leadership roles who wanted to represent their organisation to be seen to take a lead role and be seen to provide critical input in this and that made it difficult for a small, regional force like Leicestershire. It was unhelpful … I’ve no doubt relationships from the outset with the Portuguese were impacted by it and I think that had a long term negative effect on the investigation and I think to this very day the Met investigation team that’s engaged now are still having to manage and massage that relationship and perhaps to be fair to the Portuguese, mend some fences that were trodden on in the early days,” he wrote.
Scotland Yard released a statement last year when the case was reopened, saying they were working with every agency involved and remained committed to leave no stone unturned.
“The Home Office remains committed to supporting the search for Madeleine McCann. We have agreed to provide the Metropolitan Police with the resources they need to investigate her disappearance,” the statement said.