On 12 May 2011 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) announced that, at the request of the Home Secretary, it had agreed to bring its particular expertise to the Madeleine McCann case. The then Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, considered the request and took the decision that on balance it was the right thing to do. This was subject to funding being made available by the Home Office, as this case is beyond the MPS's jurisdiction. The Portuguese authorities retain the lead. While the MPS will not provide a running commentary on its involvement, known as Operation Grange, it is felt appropriate to make the remit available to the public and it is available in the related publications. Address and Email:
Major Investigation Team 5, Homicide and Serious Crime Command
Belgravia Police station, 202-206 Buckingham Palace Rd, London SW1W 9SX
“Top cop spearheads new probe into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann - BRITAIN'S top murder cop has been lined up to spearhead a new probe into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, we can reveal. Det Chief Insp Colin Sutton, 49, who has been involved in some of the UK's biggest inquiries - including the murder of →Milly Dowler and the terror reign of the Nightstalker sex beast - is seen as the best man to handle the challenging review. Senior child protection officer Jim Gamble has asked Scotland Yard to take a fresh look at the three-year investigation. He blasted Portuguese cops for their handling of the hunt for Maddie - who vanished aged three from her family's Algarve holiday apartment in 2007. Now the Met Police are set to review all leads in the case, using technology and standards expected in a UK homicide or kidnap. It will delight Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. A senior police source said: “They deserve reassurance that everything that can be done has been done.””
Update Operation Grange →on 19-Mar-2014. Extract: “Officers from Operation Grange investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have today (Wednesday, 19 March) issued a further appeal for information. During the course of their enquiries, officers have identified a potential linked series of twelve crimes which occurred between 2004 and 2010, mostly in low season, whereby a male intruder has gained access to mainly holiday villas occupied by UK families on holiday in the Western Algarve. In four cases between 2004 and 2006 [Maddie: 2007] the man sexually assaulted five white girls, aged between 7 and 10 years [Maddie: 3 - 4 years], whilst in their beds. On one of these occasions, he assaulted two girls in the same villa. Whilst not identical, there are many similar aspects to each of the incidents in that in most cases there were no signs of forced entry to the property, nothing was taken, and the intruder appeared in the early hours of the morning between 02.00hrs and 05.00hrs [Maddie: between 21:15 hrs and 22:00 hrs]. The suspect may have been in the villa or looking round the villa for some time before committing the offences or being disturbed either by a parent coming in, or the child waking up….”
Update Operation Grange →22 May 2014 Extract: “…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. …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.”
…Assistant Commissioner Rowley reiterated that position today ”…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…”
→Irish Mirror ( 03-July-2014), Madeleine McCann UK cops slammed by Portuguese politician for “using and abusing” his officers:“Former Portuguese Home Secretary Rui Pereira claimed Portuguese authorities have been ‘subservient’ to the UK…The article in Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha by the former minister, who is now a university lecturer, followed claims by a source close to the investigation that this week’s four day operation in Faro had failed to produce a new lead. The source said: “We’re back where we were seven years ago.” All four men who were interviewed this week are being treated as “persons of special interest” or arguidos. They were invited to be interviewed but there have been no arrests….”
→Express ( 04-July-2014), Madeleine McCann: Portugal police ‘have been used and abused’ by British detectives: “SCOTLAND Yard detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have “used and abused” Portuguese police while working in the Algarve, Portugal’s former home secretary claimed yesterday…”
→IB Times ( 04-July-2014), British Madeleine McCann Police Have 'Used and Abused' Portuguese Officers, Blasts Politician: “Efforts to find Madeleine McCann by British police have been branded “absurd” by a top Portuguese politician…“Could it be that the reopening of the case in Portugal was simply designed to facilitate the cooperation of Portuguese police at the service of British police? If that is true, then there was 'manipulation' of the case. We can conclude, without making conjectures, that it reveals a good helping of subservience which prejudices our national sovereignty as a penal state.””
→Correio da Manhã (05-Nov.- 2014), Maddie case with more questionings and new Arguidos: “…Among the new Scotland Yard suspects, CM found out, are former Ocean Club workers, the resort from where the child disappeared in May 2007, and also residents of Praia da Luz, in Lagos. These are people the British detectives consider suspects of being involved in Maddie's disappearance, following the thesis that the child was abducted during a botched break-in….”
→Inquistr (01-Dec.-2014), Was Madeleine McCann Murdered? Scotland Yard Seems To Think So: “…Agents are expected to ask at least seven people if they are responsible for the murder of the missing British child. If police are asking these kinds of questions, then they must be leaning toward the idea that Madeleine was slain. But are they quizzing the right suspects in her presumed murder? Madeleine vanished over seven years ago, and over the course of this case there have been many so called suspects, including the girl’s parents. Kate and Gerry McCann have long been targets of suspicion, especially since they were declared arguidos (suspects) back in the beginning of this case. Even though they are no longer considered suspects, there has been no proven evidence that anybody entered their rental apartment to abduct just one of their children. The Daily Mail reports that this case has cost taxpayers more than £8 Million over the course of more than seven years. The past three years alone have cost at least £2 Million per year. Nonetheless, officials have cut back on the number of agents included in Operation Grange, which is indicative of their intent to close this case soon — hopefully with the arrest of the true culprits responsible for Madeleine’s presumed demise. According to Goncalo Amaral, who was one of the original detectives in the search for Madeleine McCann, the parents should be the prime suspects. In fact, most of the original evidence in the case points to their involvement, which has led Amaral to believe that they covered up an accidental death of their young daughter. This wouldn’t be a murder, but if they have truly spent the past seven years going along with the idea that some intruder stole their child, then there is clearly some level of criminality taking place. …”
→Daily Mail (11-Feb.-2015), British police take 67 return flights to Portugal as cost of Madeleine McCann search nears £9million: “…Operation Grange, the special investigation unit into the young girl's disappearance, was set up in 2011 by David Cameron. He set a provisional budget for £5million for the investigation In its first year, the unit cost close to £2million, with the vast majority of expenses attributed to police officer and staff pay. Between 2012 and 2013, the most expensive leg of the investigation to date, £2.8million was spent on transport, salaries, overtime and premises cost. The following year, through to 2014, the Home Office spent £2.6m. …Months after the three-year-old vanished, Leicestershire Constabulary was awarded two grants by the Home Office to help fund their efforts. In 2008 they received £525,000 and were awarded a further £221,000 the following year before the case was handed over to Metropolitan Police. In a statement, the Met said any reduction in overall numbers of staff - from 37 to 34 according to the figures - on the investigation was temporary. It said: 'There has been no change to the level of resources allocated to the investigation and any reduction will be the result of natural wastage. Those individuals will be replaced in the near future.'”
→Daily Mail (24-Mar.-2015), Yes, it's time we stopped looking for Maddie: As a police boss says the £10m hunt must end, DAVID JONES, who's reported on the case for eight years, explains with a heavy heart why he agrees : “….At least, that was the Prime Minister’s hope, and perhaps his expectation, when — apparently moved by a personal appeal from the McCanns — he ordered a team of Met detectives to be removed from their other duties and assigned to the case, codenamed Operation Grange. But almost four years and an eye-watering £10million of taxpayers’ money later — an amount that would pay the annual wages of countless PCs — it is patently obvious his intervention is not producing results….”
Operation Grange Downsized
News - Oct 28, 2015 14:49 GMT →Met Police UK: Update on the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has today, 28 October announced the new structure and changes to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The investigation into what happened to Madeleine continues but with a smaller team of officers. Officers investigating her disappearance have completed the huge task of bringing together and investigating the massive amount of information held by colleagues in Portugal, the United Kingdom investigation and the private investigators working on behalf of the McCann family.
They are now following a small number of focused lines of inquiry that have allowed them to reduce the size of the Home Office funded team.
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007 have been working through material and following investigative inquiries since the Home Office requested a review of the case in May 2011. Operation Grange is working to support the Portuguese investigation and this work continues. While there remain lines of inquiry to follow, the vast majority of the work by Operation Grange has been completed. This work included reviewing all the material relating to the case which were brought together for the first time and amounted to collating over 40,000 documents from United Kingdom and foreign law enforcement agencies, as well as various private investigation companies. Officers worked meticulously through the information. Some of the material had to be translated into English, facts had to be cross-referred and diligently analysed to ensure an oversight of what the MPS was examining and to search for new lines of inquiry. Once this work had been completed the review became a full investigation in July 2012.
The investigation team has taken 1,338 statements and collected 1,027 exhibits. Having reviewed all of the documents, 7,154 actions were raised and 560 lines of enquiry identified, and over thirty international request to countries across the world asking for work to be undertaken on behalf of the Met. Officers have investigated more than 60 persons of interest. A total of 650 sex offenders have also been considered as well as reports of 8,685 potential sightings of Madeleine around the world. The Grange team received on average two hundred emails a week, and following the media appeal in October 2013 across three countries, received over 7,000 responses.
For an investigation of this size, the extraordinary circumstances of investigating a missing child four years later in another country, the vast wealth of information and theories, it was always going to be an immense task and required a full team of 29 staff working on it. With the significant amount of work approaching completion, as with all investigations the MPS has reviewed the staff required to progress the remaining work. A team of four officers will continue to work solely on the Grange investigation, funded by the Home Office. The enquiry has not reached a conclusion, there are still focused lines of investigation to be pursued. The officers will continue to be overseen by Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Wall, the current senior investigating officer, and sit within an existing major investigation team on the Homicide and Major Crime Command. This will give them access to officers within that team should they be required to support further operational activity.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, from the MPS said: “The Met investigation has been painstaking and thorough and has for the first time brought together in one place what was disparate information across the world. This work has enabled us to better understand events in Praia da Luz the night Madeleine McCann went missing and ensure every possible measure is being taken to find out what happened to her. We still have very definite lines to pursue which is why we are keeping a dedicated team of officers working on the case. We have given this assurance to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The Portuguese police remain the lead investigators and our team will continue to support their inquiry. They have extended every courtesy to Operation Grange and we maintain a close working relationship. I know they remain fully committed to investigating Madeleine's disappearance with support from the Metropolitan Police. The Met was asked to take on this exceptional case as one of national interest. We were happy to bring our expertise to bear only on the basis that it would not detract from the policing of London; and the Home Office have additionally funded the investigation above normal grants to the Met. That will continue at the reduced level. I have overseen this investigation since 2012 and am very grateful for the enormous assistance of the media and public so far which, through the appeals, have generated new information and lines of Inquiry. ”
Our decision and rationale has been discussed with Mr and Mrs McCann.
Mr and Mrs McCann said: “We would like to thank all the staff from Operation Grange for the meticulous and painstaking work that they have carried out over the last four and a half years. The scale and difficulty of their task has never been in doubt. We are reassured that the investigation to find Madeleine has been significantly progressed and the MPS has a much clearer picture of the events in Praia da Luz leading up to Madeleine's abduction in 2007. Given that the review phase of the investigation is essentially completed, we fully understand the reasons why the team is being reduced. We would also like to thank the Home Office for continuing to support the investigation. Whilst we do not know what happened to Madeleine, we remain hopeful that she may still be found given the ongoing lines of enquiry. ”
The remaining Operation Grange officers will be deployed to other enquiries within Specialist Crime and Operations.
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service conducting the investigative review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are releasing an age progression image of her as we approach her ninth birthday on 12 May. The image has been created in close collaboration with the family and is being released ahead of the fifth anniversary of her disappearance on 3 May. It shows how we believe Madeleine would look today. The release comes as detectives announce that as a result of evidence uncovered during the review they now believe there is a possibility Madeleine is still alive and are appealing for anyone who is able to provide direct information as to her whereabouts to contact the team.
The investigative review commenced in May 2011 under the leadership of the then commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson. A murder team within the Homicide and Serious Crime Command was tasked to conduct the review and is led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood acting to Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell and Commander Simon Foy. Work of the team involves close collaboration with a senior investigating officer from the Policia Judaria and detectives have been to Portugal several times.
Throughout the course of the review officers have been in close contact with the McCann family who have been assigned a Family Liaison Officer as is standard in accordance with national family liaison policy. The review team are in a unique position in that their task is to compile and review material from three separate strands - the Portuguese investigation, inquiries by UK law enforcement agencies, and the work of private investigators/agencies. Officers are now methodically going through that material which they believe amounts to around 40,000 pieces of information equating to approximately 100,000 pages.
DCI Andy Redwood said: “From the outset we have approached this review with a completely open mind, placing Madeleine McCann at the heart of everything we do. We are working on the basis of two possibilities here. One is that Madeleine is still alive; and the second that she is sadly dead. Based on the former we are releasing the age progression image today with a specific appeal. If you know where Madeleine McCann is now or you have new direct information/evidence about what has happened to her then please contact us.“
The →Startup Background of Operation Grange in The Sunday Express on 26 September 2010:
Uncle quits Maddy fund Sunday Express (paper edition) Key McCann out as strategy gets revamp The print edition of the Sunday Express concluded with the following paragraphs: 'The McCanns met Home Secretary Theresa May over the summer to ask for a review of all the evidence in the case by a hand-picked team of Scotland Yard officers. Former police detectives David Edgar and Arthur Cowley have made repeated visits to Portugal and have a new photo fit of a suspect which has not yet been released to the public.' This information was previously reported by James Murray, in his article, 'New image of Maddie McCann abductor', published in the Sunday Express of 30 May 2010. In August, I contacted the official Find Madeleine campaign team and was informed that they were not aware of any immediate plans to release the image to the media.
See also at →McCannFiles: “Met. Police Review / Kate Commons Inquiry”
See also: Wikipedia
See also Wikipedia on Police Organisations
See also further circumstances and connection with the Portuguese authorities:
See also “secret files” →Daily Star, 1 July 2012:
Madeleine McCann: Key files into probe kept top secret to avoid Portugal row:
CRUCIAL files relating to Madeleine McCann’s disappearance are being kept secret by the Government to avoid a diplomatic war with Portugal. They contain discussions between Home Office officials and the Met over vital information on the case. But Home Secretary Theresa May and her staff have spent the past nine months preventing the Daily Star Sunday from obtaining the papers. They said there would be “specific detriment to the UK’s relationship with Portugal” if the four files were released. Ms May also claimed disclosure of three of the documents would “stifle discussion” between officials.
But we understand the papers may show a difference of opinion between the Home Office and Met officers, who are reviewing the files on Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance in Praia da Luz. The Met review was ordered last year after pressure from the Home Office and David Cameron. Sources said there were “serious concerns” within the Met that they were investigating a “foreign” case over which they had no jurisdiction. Although the £2million-a-year bill for the Scotland Yard team is being met by the Home Office, around 27 detectives are being used. Labour peer Lord Harris, 58, said: “My reservation was the way in which the Prime Minister instructed the Metropolitan police to investigate the McCann case – which is difficult in that it’s not in the Met’s jurisdiction – in a different country and everything depends on the co-operation of the Portuguese authorities.”
Our first request for the documents was made last September but the Home Office turned us down. We appealed but again the Home Office decided secrecy was more important.
Last week, after more than five months’ deliberation, the Information Commissioner ruled in the Home Office’s favour but informed us we can now appeal to an Information Tribunal. Its response said: “The documents contained information provided to the UK in confidence by Portuguese officials and internal discussions between the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Service of such information.” Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are convinced she is still alive. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the couple remained optimistic of a breakthrough.
Scotland Yard statements on Madeleine McCann fail to erase the question marks →BY NIGEL MOORE, Jul 09, 2013:
Last week, as part of Scotland Yard's decision to update the public on the progress of their 'investigative review' into the Madeleine McCann case, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood stated: “Neither her parents or any of the member (sic) of the group that were with her are either persons of interest or suspects.” There will be many who will be greatly surprised at those words. Not least the Assistant Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, who stated in July 2008 that ”While one or both of them [the McCanns] may be innocent, there is no clear evidence that eliminates them from involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.“ At that time the McCanns were attempting to gain access to all the documents held by Leicester Police regarding the disappearance of their daughter. The request was denied.
But that wasn't the first or last time that British authorities had placed a question mark against the parents insistence that Madeleine was abducted. Less than a month after Madeleine's reported disappearance, Lee Rainbow [see also: →Mirror (11-Feb-2010) McCanns should be treated as suspects, Brit profiler told Portuguese police.], who was at that time Senior Behavioural Investigation Consultant for the NPIA (National Policing Improvement Agency), wrote a report in which he stated: “The potential involvement of the family in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann cannot be discarded, and it can be considered that, when pondering the basis for research, this hypothesis deserves as much attention as the criminal with sexual motivations that has been previously prioritised. It should be stressed that there is no evidence to directly support an involvement of the family, yet given the absence of decisive evidence to prove the contrary, such a scenario has to be explored.”
That report led directly to the arrival of the two operational specialist search dogs which indicated at a number of locations, as well as items, connected to the McCanns. As a result of that intervention, and what the Portuguese police believed to be conclusive DNA evidence, the McCanns were made arguidos (suspects). The British government's Foreign & Commonwealth Office also made their view clear, post-arguido, in December 2009, when responding to a Freedom of Information request about the missing child, Ben Needham. They wrote: 'You will also be aware of the Madeleine McCann case. Both this and the Needham case are categorised as a missing persons, rather than child abduction cases, as there is no evidence in either case to support whether the children were or were not abducted.'
It could not be clearer. There is 'no evidence' to support the claim that Madeleine McCann was abducted. So, are Scotland Yard playing an elaborate game of cat and mouse or are they looking to blindly stick the abduction tail on some unsuspecting donkey? Or are they simply running around like headless chickens in the last throes of their 'investigative review'? Only time will tell. However, it is worth remembering that the words of Chief Inspector Andy Redwood are far from unique. Countering increased press speculation, in August 2007, about the possible involvement of Madeleine's parents in her disappearance, Portuguese Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa stepped in to clarify the situation. Speaking to the BBC, his words of support mirrored those of Mr Redwood last week. The McCanns, he assured, were “victims of this crime because they have lost their little child” and were not being considered as “suspects in the case”. But, as we now know, they were.
See also critics by →The Interrupted Investigation, 21 July 2013:
The Scotland Yard Review/Investigation has already taken two and a half times as long as the entire original PJ inquiry – despite having the nine most significant witnesses within their jurisdiction and with all the initial legwork having been done for them. The result? As Gerry McCann so memorably put it – “They've got nothing!”
See also →The Portugal Resident Newspaper on 25.Feb.2014: “New tensions in long-running Madeleine inquiry”
Suspect 1A/1B (2 different e-fits of the same person)
Sea also: Oakley International.
Crimewatch: Reporter: Their attention quickly turned to another sighting which could now be the key to the entire mystery. It was here that at 10pm that an Irish family witnessed another man carrying a child. They saw him come down the hill from the Ocean Club heading that way towards the beach. Could this have been Madeleine and her abductor. Redwood: He was a white man with brown hair and the child that he had in his arms was described as being about 3 to 4 years of age with blonde hair, possibly wearing pyjamas. A description very close to that of Madeleine McCann. Reporter: Two of the witnesses helped create E-fits of the man they saw. Today for the first time we can reveal the true significance of these images. Redwood: This could be the man that took Madeleine but very importantly there could be an innocent explanation. The e-fits are clear and I ask the public to look very carefully at them and if they know who this person is please come forward.
On 27 Oct. 2013 The Sunday Times published the article 'Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years', in which it states that the Oakley report, which contained the E-fits, had been supressed for 5 years by the McCanns. Full article here: → themaddiecasefiles. See also →Daily Mail: “Why were Maddie suspect E-fits kept SECRET for five years? Images and evidence of sighting uncovered by private detectives were suppressed.”. Also in →Huffingtonpost: “Madeleine McCann Suspect E-Fit 'Produced By Former Spies In 2008 And Suppressed By Parents'.”
Note: It looks as if the 2 e-fits are made with different software. 1A is heavily pixelated (more amateurish) whilst 1b looks more professional (Efit-V software used for 1b?)
E-fit by Tasmin Milburn Sillence: → PJ-Files
Crimewatch: Reporter: <snipped> One witness saw a fair haired man near the McCann’s apartment twice. On the first occasion she saw him standing on the path that runs behind the block. The second time near the entrance of the Tapas restaurant looking towards apartment G5a. Redwood: Well there is a number of incidents on either, on both the day that Madeleine went missing and days leading up to her disappearance where one man or two were seen lurking around the apartments. Now there may be a completely innocent explanation for that but we really need the public to help us to identify who these men are. ”
This photofit could be from the Tranmer sighting.
Aktenzeichen XY: “A few hours later a woman observes something. She’s visiting her aunt who lives above the McCann’s apartment. The woman who was looking over the balcony saw a man with short blonde hair. He shut the gate very carefully as if he didn’t want to be seen or heard. We don’t know if these sightings are linked. ”
The gate belongs to the Apartment Matthew and Rachel Oldfield were staying (next do Apartment 5A).
Suspect 4a (charity collector)
This is the e-fit by Iris Morgan, former owner of a Villa in Praia da Luz: → PJ-Files
Crimewatch: “Redwood: Yes, on the afternoon that Madeleine disappeared between 3.30 and 5.30 there were 4 charity collector events where 2 men went to residential apartments in streets very close to her apartment. And certainly on one of those events at 4 pm there’s an e-fit that the public can look at now. A man with black hair.”
Suspect 4b (charity collector)
This is the e-fit by Paul Gordon, a previous occupant of Apartment 5a: → PJ-Files
Crimewatch: “Redwood: Yes, and this was actually the week before Madeleine disappeared. In the apartment where she was staying, a man, and the e-fit is in front of the public now, again with black hair, went up the rear steps and approached a gentleman on the balcony. And again there are certain elements of both that event and the event on the 4pm on the day with the e-fit we’ve shown prior to this that have resonance between each other. Really important for us to identify who these individuals are. ”