McCann police will probe leads from psychics

By Vanessa Allen

Madeleine McCann. Photo / Anonymous
Madeleine McCann. Photo / Anonymous

The £2 million police review of the Madeleine McCann case will examine calls from psychics which were previously ignored.

Detectives are studying around 100 logs of calls that were discounted because the callers said they were psychics or had dreamt about the high-profile investigation.
Critics said the decision to include information from 'supernatural' sources was a waste of resources.

Police were inundated with calls about Madeleine after she disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal on May 3, 2007.

Crimestoppers set up an international number and sent the information they received to Leicestershire Police, the McCann family's home force, and to Portuguese police.

But Leicestershire Police reportedly asked Crimestoppers not to forward information from psychics, or calls based on dreams about the case. Some 100 call logs were not passed on because of the request, Sky News reported. But they have now been sent to the Scotland Yard team reviewing the case.

The information will be examined and entered into the police computer for the first time to ensure no detail has been missed.

But it is considered unlikely that any serious investigation will result unless the leads are corroborated by other evidence.

Peter Kirkham, a former detective chief inspector with the Metropolitan Police, said he was sceptical about the ability of psychics to help police investigations.

'As soon as you have a high-profile case you get a range of people coming forward,' he said. 'I'm certainly not aware of any case that's been solved by psychics.

'You can't waste resources no matter how emotive a case may be.' US crime author Pat Brown said in a Twitter message: 'This "review" just gets stupider and stupider.'

Madeleine vanished days before her fourth birthday from an apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz while her parents, Kate and Gerry, had dinner with friends in a nearby tapas restaurant.

The review team has sifted through more than 40,000 pieces of information, including files from the Portuguese police investigation and from the private detectives used by Madeleine's parents.

It has identified 195 potential new leads, but Portuguese police have refused to reopen the case because they say there is no new evidence. Mr and Mrs McCann said the fact the Metropolitan Police were reviewing the case had made their lives 'much more bearable'.

In a statement to mark yesterday's five-year anniversary of her disappearance, the couple said: 'It's hard to define succinctly how it feels to have reached five years without Madeleine - impossible, heart-breaking, frightening, exasperating, incomprehensible.
'Sometimes it feels like forever and at other times, just like yesterday.'

Scotland Yard said: 'We can confirm we are in close dialogue with Crimestoppers to ensure that all material in their possession - from any source - is shared with us.'

- Daily Mail

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