Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Lord John Stevens and Maddie's Case: a show of ignorance or manipulation of information?




I'm not yet sure if this opinion of Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief (at the time, also chairman of "Quest Ltd – Corporate Intelligence & Risk Mitigation" and Gordon Brown's adviser on international security issues) about Madeleine McCann disappearance was just the result of simple and plain ignorance or if it was a manipulation of information.

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, wrote on October 2007 that “the entire apartment and its environs should have been totally sealed off and barred to anyone but specially-trained police and forensic scientists who would have checked every millimetre of it for evidence. It wasn’t. Police don’t call the time after a crime, particularly one against children, the Golden Hour for nothing. In fact, I always insist it’s a Golden Day — the time when forensic evidence is most fresh and easy to detect, when memories are most sharp, when lies and alibis are most vulnerable.”

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, ignored that police was called only 50 minutes after Kate McCann found that Maddie disappeared? And during those 50 minutes, all the McCann friends, staff members and the manager of Ocean Resort, more than a dozen of other guests, went inside the apartment, several times, trying to find what happened and offering help to search for Madeleine? Just a detail: Police arrived 12/15 minutes after the call was received – it's the time they needed to drive from the GNR police station, near Portimão, to Praia da Luz.

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, ignored that, when police arrived, the McCann and their friends were all inside the apartment and they already “had a meeting where they agreed on certain rules that sustained the version that they accompanied continuously the children, while they dined”? A manuscript, consisting of two possible and diferent timetables, with different members of Tapa's Seven checking the children, is annexed in the PJ files.

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, wrote: “And the possible murder scene was treated as a glorified meeting-room to organise a search for a missing child, instead of the potential treasure trove of clues it actually was. To any experienced British detective, it is incomprehensible.”

Indeed it was, Lord John Steven. But police wasn't there yet, and those who treated a “possible murder scene (...) as a glorified meeting-room to organise a search for a missing child” were the parents of Madeleine McCann and the so-called Tapa's Seven.

When the GNR arrived, 12/15 minutes after a call was made (and recorded, just like in any UK police station) the crime scene was totally spoiled. So, Lord John Steven, why do you blame Portuguese police? You didn't know these details, when you made these comments? Do you have the habit of making comments about any crime case, without the most basic knowledge of fundamental details? It does not seem to me a very professional attitude, coming from a former Metropolitan Police chief...

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, wrote that he was “bewildered by reports leaked by the Portuguese police that tiny traces [of human fluids of a dead body] have been found in the vehicle (…) None of the so-called forensic finds being boasted of in Portugal sound either likely, admissible or even possible to me.” But, Lord Steven, you knew, when you made those comments, that it was a British forensic team that searched and found those tiny traces? That those samples were analysed at the Forensic Science Service (FSS), in UK? So, Lord John Steven, why do you blame Portuguese police?

Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, wrote that “Evidence from cadaver dogs, for instance, could not be used to bring about a conviction here [in UK]. Generally they are regarded as being at best 80 per cent reliable. 80 per cent? Not bad, Lord Stevens...

It's a pity that South Yorkshire police “killed” springer spaniel Keela public profile, after she was used in the McCann Case. First, Keela (and also Eddie) was “Britain's most amazing police dog”, “UK's No1 Sherlock Bones” who earned “more than South Yorkshire's top cop Med Hughes.”

As The Sun wrote, on August 3rd 2007, Keela “sense of smell is so keen she can sniff out blood on clothes after they have been washed repeatedly in biological powder. She can pick out microscopic amounts of blood even on weapons that have been scrubbed clean. And she is able to lead detectives to minuscule pieces of other evidence.”

Keela could be described as ‘top dog’ in her field of expertise. The trained Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) dog has skills like no other and it has left forces worldwide hankering after an insight into her special training”, according to South Yorkshire police. May be this was the reasons why Gerry and Kate McCann asked for the use of those sniffer dogs to seek fresh clues in the search for Madeleine.

But on August 17th 2007, The Telegraph made a front page with a different perspective: “Evidence obtained by South Yorkshire Police sniffers dogs [in Maddie's investigation] 'no more reliable than 'the flip of a coin"

Another UK newspaper, The Sun (what a coincidence...) on September 5th 2008 went further: The Sun: 'It's crazy to rely on animals' “EXPERTS say sniffer dogs can play a vital role in fighting crime - but warn it is "madness" to rely on their findings. The animals are used to lead police to evidence, but do not provide evidence themselves. One expert told The Sun: "The dogs can identify traces of blood, but it's crazy to draw major conclusions just from what they find. "Any evidence they find should be used as a starting point. It's madness just to rely on the findings of the sniffer dogs."

So, Lord John Stevens, former Metropolitan Police chief, five years ago you wrote something that it's either a monumental show of ignorance or a shameless manipulation of information. I wonder if you still have the same opinion...