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LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

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LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  cherry1 on Wed 18 Mar - 18:38

LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 Discussion of McCann case this morning

There is no secret that so many public services are suffering, even reeling from budget cuts and that is particularly keenly felt among the police, 600 million worth of police cuts there. Meanwhile officers struggling to probe 14 unconnected killings across London since Christmas, fighting a war on terror, all the other aspects and pressures increasingly now crime figures including some senior officers, who declined to give their names, are pointing the finger at the team that are working exclusively on the hunt for Madeleine McCann, the girl who vanished around eight years ago from her parents holiday apartment in Portugal. I'm sure I don't need to remind you the details on that. though the actual story has no connection with London, four years ago the Met was assigned to get involved after Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry made a personal plea to Prime Minister David Cameron. it's worth reminding you the girl did not live in London.

Now within the Met there is a degree of concern over budget cuts, well I'm sure that is probably true just about everywhere but some 31, 31 detectives involved in the Madeleine McCann case, do we know if they are getting any closer. It's called Operation Grange and its cost around 10 million pounds, 10 million pounds. Look I would be exceedingly happy if this afternoon what is known as the setting up producer phoned me up and said 'Nick you are not going to believe this' 'What' - They have found Madeleine McCann, she was living with a family in Algeria, the Met Police have swooped in, they have got her and she is on a plane coming back to London'. 'Fantastic, that is one of the greatest stories of the greatest stories'

But the reality is tragically we do not seem to be getting any closer so is it right with the pressure now 31 detectives, 10 million pounds, do we actually wind up the Madeleine McCann investigation.

Jim Murray is the Associate Editor of the Sunday Express, he's been tracking this story from day one, its worth pointing out that both he and the Sunday Express carried a number of exclusives on this story, joining me now.

You can understand the pressure that I would imagine Jim, which way do you think the Police might jump?

Jim - well I think it's all going to play out in the next few months. I cannot see any decision being made before the General Election because as you will know it was David Cameron who decided to start this Inquiry, he asked the Met to get involved, he is not suddenly going to go back on that with an Election coming up. He would look weak, he would look as if he hasn't made the right commitment to finding her, so I think something, there will be a serious rethink in June, time is running out for the Met in many ways, they pursued many angles over there and they have got a better relationship with the Portuguese but their theory that it was a group of burglars and the burglary went wrong and something happened to Madeleine during the burglary, not an intentional murder, something else, and she was taken away, but hopefully still alive, we don't know and that doesn't seem to have resulted in any real action. there was a meeting recently when Scotland Yard officers flew over to Portugal and they had another sit down with their Portuguese counterparts regarding four people, four Portuguese people but It doesn't seem to be getting anywhere so I think there will be, once the Election dust has settled there will be some serious questions.

Nick - Jim over the last, since Operation Grange has been going over the last few years have you learnt much of substance new.

Jim - erm, not especially, no, erm, the theory about the burglary was looked at very closely by Goncalo Amaral.

Nick - that was around at the time of the abduction, sorry the disappearance wasn't it, the possible abduction, I seem to recall that it was heard or discussed.

Jim - It had yes and they looked at that. what his team didn't do, and probably didn't have time to do, was get into all the multitude of phone records they had for everyone so the Yard has brought in its expertise to analyse phone calls and its put people in certain positions, rough positions making calls at certain times or which could suggest they were acting together in concert to commit crime, erm, alternatively it could mean they were acting together to go and have a beer, you know...

Nick - Yes sure I hear what you're saying. Jim you are Associate Editor of the Sunday Express, you have been tracking this story almost from day one, thank you for that.

David Hughes is a former media adviser to the McCann family in the months after Madeleine went missing, he joins me now.

There will be pressure undoubtedly as the journalist was explaining there which way do you think the Met should jump Mr. Hughes, morning.

David - Well I think the decision they have got to make is assess what sort of progress they are making and it is the story this morning in the Press from the Met Police has actually not come from the Police itself but from the Police Federation and I think the giveaway is the opening sentence about officers reeling from cuts. My understanding is that even though there have been cuts in recent years the actual level of crime across the UK has gone down, obviously there might be a spike in London at the moment but I do think we should leave the Police to make these decisions on an operational basis in the light of the progress they are making and as Jim Murray has just said there are leads they are following, new bits of information do come through and I would have thought an assessment of how valuable those leads and new bits of information are should be the main determinant of how they proceed.

Nick - Yes there doesn't seem to be any bombshell piece of evidence that the journalist was saying pretty much the theories that have been looked at in more detail were around, all they've had time to do is look at a lot of phone records, that's 31 detectives spending a lot of time doing that one might argue Mr. Hughes.

David - erm yes I can see that, actually I will pick up on the word bombshell because ironically what we do know from other parts of the world is that when some of these cases are solved, often quite a substantial period of time it is a bombshell event, some discovery of someone who has been detained in a house for many years such as the case we had in Ohio a few years ago so often it is a single breakthrough that then ends the mystery. the one thing I would say I do have a certain amount of sympathy to them in this discussion is I do find it surprising that the Met Police is having to bear the whole burden and I think you slightly alluded to this in your introduction. Certainly when I was involved at the beginning one of the main liaison points in the UK were Leicestershire Police who covered the area that Madeleine and her parents come from and I think at the time that was quite a productive input so I am quite surprised that the whole burden is just being put on the Met Police covering London.

Nick - last year 140,000 youngsters went missing in and around Britain. I have to say the vast majority turn up, they have fights, they have spats, they are found at friends, but sadly each year some never turn up, why all this focus on Madeleine McCann?

David - Well I think in many ways it is a consequence of the effectiveness of the effort which Madeleine's parents put in at the beginning of the campaign as it were to draw the issue to the public attention. We all know there was absolutely vast media coverage not just in the UK but in effect globally to this issues, er and this particular situation and I think you would expect any parents in that position to do everything they can to highlight the plights of their missing child and Kate and Gerry were particularly affective in doing that.

Nick - I am sure you helped them at the time David Hughes, you are the former media adviser to the McCann's in the weeks and months after Madeleine went missing, so there are in a way two sides of the argument, it's a lot of money 10 million pounds spent so far and sadly it would appear not much further forward. time to fold wrap up the Madeleine McCann team, your views follow this.

600 million pounds worth of cuts, a murder team probing eleven unsolved murders across London in recent months, 31 detectives, now 31 detectives involved looking for Madeleine McCann. Thomas is in Glasgow, and after the election, nothing will happen beforehand, should it be folded up this team?

Thomas - morning Nick, it's not so much the team should be folded up its the whole expense involved of subsiding the McCann family.. You just spoke to the McCann's media adviser..

Nick - former adviser

Thomas - yep former adviser, that was something that I didn't know they had, they also have Clarence Mitchell the McCann family spokesman, who has been paid for eight years at whose expense and

Nick - I don't know that he's still with them and I'm not sure of the funding strategy but go on with the point you want to make.

Thomas - and he is still quoted from time to time and he is still quoted as the family spokesman so presumably he's not doing it for charity but the exorbitant expense, I am just wondering did Ben Needham's mother have a media adviser, did Ben Needham's mother have a family spokesman and also I remember when Gordon Brown went to Portugal sometime after Madeleine McCann went missing the first thing he asked, the Portuguese Prime Minister was an update on the McCanns, why his interest, Cameron is now asking about the McCanns so many people as you said yourself, how many hundreds of thousands.....

Nick - 14,000 most of whom turn up safe but not all obviously.

Thomas - not all but no other family has the same expense spent on them media spokesman, family spokesman, and again...

Nick - just because the McCanns are better organised, possibly better funded we shouldn't necessarily judge against them for that.

Thomas - From the Police point of view, as a former police officer, the Police Service carries out its job without fear or favour, that's regardless how well organised and how well publicised the McCanns are, the Police should divorce themselves from that aspect and should offer every family the same expense to find the child ultimately until the child is found or you know eight years later poor Madeleine is still not found and again I would also go down the lines of had it been someone from a Council estate, single mum possibly the other twins would have been taken into care because of the neglect aspect.

Nick - Not the first time I have heard that Thomas thank you.


Simon from Taunton said - how much for hunting for Madeleine McCann. While her abduction is tragic for her family whatever crimes occurred did not occur within British jurisdiction, the Portuguese Police should be dealing and paying for this. If the McCanns are not happy with their efforts they are at liberty to hire an investigator themselves. At the risk of sounding unfeeling let's not forget this could be seen to have arisen out of the parents negligence.

Johnnie says the 10 million pounds cost of trying to find Madeleine is misleading because its largely the salaries of the Police who are employed by the Met and they would have been paid in any event. However I think 10 million pounds is better spent than spending 6 million pounds keeping Julian Assagne in London .

good point there but we do highlight that regularly on LBC as well its not like we look the other way. We regularly feature that and I know what you are saying they would be paid the salaries anyway but may be they would be hunting down these, 11, or I think its actually 14 killings, unconnected killings in London or involved in the fight against terror rather than spending all day long looking at what happened in Portugal eight years ago. Harjeet is in Southall You are on the radio Harjeet.

Harjeet - good morning, I think you know all children are equal, everybody's children are equal. God gives them and God takes them away, for one child 10 million pounds is too much and at one stage I did see Madeleine's mum turn to her faith that she took the Pope's blessing and everything, in these cases I think it's best to turn to your faith.

Nick- I would never knock your faith but it's not going to find the child is it.

Harjeet - No no, but the NHS over here could benefit from this 10 million pounds because my local hospital is suffering a lot of cuts, lots of cuts and even GP appointment you have to prebook for two weeks, you can't get them.

Nick - just saying that because of the state of the NHS it could be seen to be a little unfair do you think lastly Harjeet

Harjeet - you know people are dying, young children with cancer for cancer treatment so for one child 10 million is a lot isn't it. And when you go abroad you have to hold onto your child, I am not blaming them, sorry about that.

Nick - no no I know you are not, I'm sure, well no-one would reproach themselves I am sure as much as the McCanns do but thanks for all of that.













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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  cherry1 on Wed 18 Mar - 18:43

Well done Thomas from Glasgow for raising some very relevant points

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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  interested on Wed 18 Mar - 19:45

Yes, well said Thomas, former police officer, from Glasgow!! ".....it's the whole expense of subsidising the McCann family...."

Like me, Thomas was unaware the McCanns also had a "David Hughes" as media advisor (in addition to Clarence Mitchell).

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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  malena stool on Wed 18 Mar - 20:18

A lotr of valid points there, especially in the country's present state of fiscal prudence and austerity.... and not to forget the £ millions publicly donated to the parents to persecute the anyone who dared to doubt the McCann's timetable fund their own search.

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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  Lioned on Wed 18 Mar - 21:33

No way is there 31 detectives working on this case.We are being fed a bunch of crap !

The British have no jurisdicton in PT.So they have no work to do other than read the 'files' (4 years of that !).Try and make some sense of most recent interviews of murdering burglars ! Thats about it.I could do that on my own in half a day down the pub with a couple of semi literate mates.
No political desire to do the McCanns,never has,never will.

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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

Post  MaryB on Wed 18 Mar - 23:33

I don't know if I believe there are 31 policeman working on this case every day. What on earth are they doing? Reading files? Making e-fits. They were supposed to be imminently arresting suspects and that was months and months ago. I think it will be wound down quietly. Still maybe we might be surprised yet.

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Re: LBC Nick Ferrari 18.3.2015 discussion of Mccann case this morning

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