Madeleine McCann latest: British police ‘refused access’ to three Praia da Luz burglary suspects

Portuguese media has claimed Met Police request to gain access to homes and interview suspects has been denied by authorities

British police have reportedly been refused permission to search the homes of three burglary suspects and interview them as part of an investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Local media in Portugal have refused a Metropolitan Police plea to search the homes of three men who used to work at the Ocean Complex, where the McCann family were staying at the time Madeleine vanished and who are suspected of a number of break-ins in the weeks leading up to her disappearance, Sky News has reported.

Scotland Yard has refused to comment on the reports.

Yesterday, it emerged that authorities in Portugal have approved plans by the Met Police to dig for evidence at the resort where Madeleine went missing seven years ago.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said he believed “activity” would occur within the next few weeks, but would not be able to provide any further details on what this would entail.

A letter was subsequently sent to media outlets, where Mr Rowley asked them to "think carefully" about the information they publish. He said Portuguese police did not give media updates on ongoing investigations, and this “activity” would cease if British police provided any information on the continuing investigation to journalists. 

Portuguese police have been "more bureaucratic and slower" at processing requests than his team had wished, Mr Rowley added, but he asked the media to respect their requests as they carried out the work.

Forensic teams will use ground penetrating radar equipment to examine three sites in Praia da Luz, it was reported yesterday, in an operation that comes just days after the seventh anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The excavations, which are expected to be conducted by forensic experts, are not thought to necessarily be in connection with a search for the youngster's body or remains.

A road close to the Ocean Club resort, wasteland next to the complex where witnesses reported seeing a man walk past carrying a girl towards the sea, and a beach just a short walk away, are the three sites officers are expected to search. 

Madeleine went missing on 3 May 2007, after she disappeared from her bed in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. She was three-years-old when she vanished.

Madeleine’s mother Kate McCann has previously expressed frustration at the pace of the Portuguese investigation, describing it as “really hard to take” and “distressing”.

"To us, it makes sense that the two police forces should work together, to have a more streamlined approach to avoid duplication and basically to progress the investigation at a faster pace,” she told the BBC earlier this month.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home