Monday, 9 November 2009

Cadaver dogs: The Sun is "incredibily unreliable" (III)

The Sun
UK's No1 Sherlock Bones

Published: 30 Dec 2005

BRITAIN’S most amazing police dog can earn more than her chief constable. Springer spaniel Keela is so smart she is hired by other forces for £530 a day plus expenses. That is a rate of £200,000 a year, compared to the £129,963 paid to South Yorkshire’s top cop Med Hughes. Keela, 16 months, has helped detectives around the country with high profile cases, including the stabbing of Abigail Witchalls, 26, in Surrey.
Now she is going to the United States to show off her skills to the FBI. Her 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. Handlers PC Martin Grimes and PC John Ellis devised a special training regime to focus Keela’s remarkable sense of smell.
John said: “Criminals will attempt to clean up a crime scene and that is when Keela comes into her own. “We’ve had Keela since she was a pup. She was the perfect dog and she has done amazingly well. “Obviously, when she’s called in by other forces they are charged a fee. “It’s funny to think that she can earn more than the chief constable. “The FBI are interested in how we work because they are looking at setting up their own unit.” Mr Hughes said: “We know other forces, here and abroad, are interested and we must see what opportunities we can develop.”

The Sun
'It's crazy to rely on animals'

Published: 05 Sep 2008
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."
Handler Martin Grimes, who worked with his dogs on the Maddie case, admitted the animals offered no more than "a guide". He said: "They can identify traces of blood and detect the smell of a decomposing body, but that is as far as they go."Martin said his dogs Keela and Eddie would only give him an indication when they find what they are trained to detect. He said: "Blood could be invisible to the naked eye, but Keela will detect it. It doesn't matter if it's hundreds of years old. "Eddie smells for the scent of a decomposing human body. He can detect any part of a human body that is decomposing - hair, bones, flesh, anything. "
The smell of a decomposing body is very difficult to get rid of. It can easily be transferred to clothing and on to a person." A spokesman for the McCanns said: "Dog alerts can be unreliable. The handler himself makes it clear in the police report that such alerts are meaningless without corroborative evidence. There was no such evidence. "Gerry and Kate are not interested in dwelling on mistakes that were made. They and their investigation team wish to focus entirely on finding Maddie."


astro said...

A very interesting collection of 'news clippings', Paulo. It's a pity so many things are 'incredibly unreliable', these days - starting with the State and state-controlled authorities, and ending with a certain 'press'.
Time will show who we can actually rely on.
In the mean time, thank you for another good article!

guerra said...

Hi Paulo, I hope you're doing well. So according to the guardian way back in September of 2007 it was the McCanns who requested the cadaver dogs and the forensic tests. Why is it I don't believe what is written in British papers?

I'll never forget seeing a British reporter trying to ridicule the PJ and at the same time defend the English dogs, she said: "No, no these are good dogs they're English." In other words everything that is English is good and everything that is Portuguese is bad. In the case of child abuse in Haut de la Garenne, the British media was full of praise for these same dogs, however as time went by the dog's findings were dismissed as being of no value and the case was closed. I don't see a bright future for Eddie and Keela. They will always be viewed in Britain as being unreliable just as Mr. Amaral is viewed as a disgrace.

The amount of effort that has gone into perpetuating the lie of an abduction, makes you wonder how sordid it must be what is being covered up.

Doughnut said...

The Guardian report could well be true. I seem to recall that the McCanns requested it too - BEFORE anything was found. Is there any reason to doubt the Guardian? We can't cherry-pick the reports we want to believe and those we don't. You have to accept that ALL reports could be wide of the mark on occasions and that includes those critical of the McCanns too. I always thought there was an outside possibility that the scents had been placed by separate parties - and most likely those who pretended to have the couple's interests at heart (this doesn't mean to say they are innocent though). It would be interesting to know that IF they did request this search, whether it was they or Mitchell who first came up with the idea. I wish Guerra would stop the xenophobia crap - it's an insult. If Guerra is to be believed the whole of Britain hates and despises the Portuguese and is prepared to excuse a couple of murder just because they are English. I don't seem to recall the British public being so kind to Sion Jenkins or the Child Killer John Hogan (threw his child from a hotel balcony in Greece). They certainly weren't excused and celebrated in this way. Obviously we like the Greeks (I seem to think the British press did a good job of convicting American student Amanda Knox too before her trial in Italy. If the Brits and Americans are so intent on playing the Nationalist card and had blamed a local Italian - then we had every opportunity).

guerra said...

Doughnut, you say you are insulted? You would make a good English journalist with your abilities to spin. The people that have been insulted are Portuguese citizens. The xenophobic crap you are referring to does not come from me, it comes from British reporters and journalists. Those are the people I am quoting. I could fill a good 3 pages with quotes of racist remarks made by British journalists and reporters. I didn't refer to the English as sardine munchers. I didn't advise the Portuguese not to go to England. I didn't say that they are selling babies on street corners in London. I didn't call England a paradise for paedophiles. I didn't refer to the English police force as a bunch of lazy incompetent drunks.

According to guerra racism is prevalent in the British media and they and British authorities are prepared to turn a blind eye to the crimes committed by a couple, not because they are English but because they are the McCanns.