Madeleine McCann disappearance: Public thanked for response after Crimewatch appeal

 

A senior detective investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has thanked the public for thousands of messages received in the wake of recent television appeals.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said several holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 when the little girl vanished had made contact with his team.

British police launched their own investigation into Madeleine's disappearance earlier this year, called Operation Grange, and recently made renewed appeals for information on television in the UK, Holland and Germany.

Appearing on the BBC's Crimewatch programme tonight Mr Redwood said: "The media appeals produced a fantastic response from the public in all three countries with a total of 3,500 calls and messages in the UK, 850 to Germany, and 650 in Holland.

"Lots of people have called to say they were in Praia da Luz at the time. All of this information has obviously produced a very large volume of work for the Operation Grange team to work through.

"I have been in Faro this week working with police colleagues, and I know the appeal generated a large number of calls to the Portuguese police also.

"I'd like to thank the media and the public for their continued assistance in this challenging enquiry."

Yesterday Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said British and Portuguese police should join together as one team in their investigations into what happened to Madeleine.

The little girl, then aged three, went missing from a holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her two younger siblings as her parents dined nearby with friends.

The Portuguese shelved their inquiry into her disappearance in 2008, but last month said that a review had uncovered enough new information to justify reopening the case.

The Commissioner said: "One thing we'd like to see in the future is a joint investigation team which comes under the European community. It is a possibility legally, and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that.

"If you're not careful, you end up doing things on an ad-hoc basis, and for us it would be better to have that type of arrangement. So that's what we're trying to get agreement between the two governments and the two police services."