Monday, 4 June 2007

It’s a dog’s life...

I found a curious story on K9 Magazine, a UK publication that keeps high the racial and cultural bias that has been a trademark of most British Press, when reporting about the capacity of Portuguese Police to deal with such a complex investigation like the disappearance of Madeleine.

I remember most British newspaper criticized strongly Portuguese Police for not closing the border with Spain, immediately after Madeleine disappeared.

Do they know that, according to his parents’ statements to the Media, last time the children were checked was around 09:30 pm, May, 3? That her mother realized she was missing at 10:00 pm? That the police precinct in Lagos received the first phone call precisely at 10:50 pm and sent a patrol that was there 12/15 minutes after that? That the patrol evaluated the situation, raised the alarm to CID – child disappearance, possible kidnapping – few minutes after arriving there?

Do they know that, driving from Praia da Luz to Spanish border, at night, it’s a one-hour trip? Can they deal with some basic arithmetic’s and realize that, since 9:55 pm, May 3 (let’s suppose it was the hour when Madeleine was abducted, just before his mother came back from dinner) until 10:50 pm it’ 55 minutes?

Can they add to those 55 minutes the time police took to go to the crime scene, coming from Lagos, the nearest Police precinct and realize that the final result is 65 minutesone hour and five minutes? I’ll remember again that, driving from Praia da Luz to Spanish border takes one hour.

Am I wrong, when I think that setting a road blockade (which takes some time to be set up, as there is no border between European countries, since Schengen…) in this situation wouldn’t be very useful? If yes, please correct me.

Now, K9, a magazine about dogs, has the last insult: Even dogs are better if you compare anything British and Portuguese. “It is an absolute scandal”, writes K9, quoting a non identified national newspaper that quotes a non identified senior UK Police officer. “The (British) dogs were put on standby to go to the Algarve within days of Madeleine’s disappearance.”, but Portuguese Police refused.

I’m sorry? Could you repeat it, please? You said “to go to the Algarve within days”? All British Press wrote that Portuguese police was slow to act, in the first 24 hours, but at the night of Madeleine’s abduction, they had K9 units at the crime scene. At morning, several more canine units, which left Lisbon at the middle of the night, arrived at Praia da Luz . Let me ask one question:

Until the British dogs arrive, no one could move within 15 miles of Ocean Club, the place from where Madeleine McCann was abducted, right? Because if people was allowed to go around, searching for her, they would contaminate the area, right? So, nobody could do noting, during those days. Just wait for the “British dogs (…) trained in advanced tracking techniques which enable them to follow human scent for several miles.” Oh, now I understand! British dogs can track and “follow human scent for several miles”! No dog from other “nationality” is able to do that, of course.

It seems that this is a case where British dogs are better than British “expatriate” dogs. Because many – I think most, but I’ll check that – dogs used by Portuguese Police are imported breeds from UK. Is it possible that those dogs lost the capacity to “follow human scent for several miles”, when they left the British Islands?