Thursday, October 24, 2013

BBC School Report (part 1)

The disappearance of Maddie McCann in May 2007 was widely covered by the British media. Newsround sent out Laura Jones to report on the case from Portugal, and it was the programme's top story on 14th, 15th & 16th May that year. Adam Fleming went to the McCann's home town of Rothley in Leicestershire.

Despite extensive police enquiries the search for Maddie proved fruitless. Some suspect that the parents themselves were involved, and Kate McCann's refusal to answer police questions didn't help.

A letter in May 2011 from Kate & Gerry McCann to Prime Minister David Cameron quickly resulted in Scotland Yard re-opening the case.

On Monday 14th October 2013 Newsround reported that a reconstruction of the night Madeleine McCann went missing would be shown on a special BBC programme as UK police try to gather new information that might help them find her.

The Crimewatch programme, which went out that evening, featured e-fit pictures based on sightings by Martin Smith and family from Ireland. Although quite a lot of tax payers' money has gone towards the case review, and although Crimewatch is funded from the UK TV licence, for some reason neither the police nor the BBC appeared willing to consider that the McCanns may have been in any way responsible.

In January 2008 Martin Smith signed a statement making clear he was 60% - 80% sure that his sighting on 3rd May 2007 was of Gerry McCann carrying Maddie. So if the police and the BBC really want the case solved why were critical facts withheld? Who was in editorial control of the programme? Was it the police, was it the BBC, or was it the McCanns?

Perhaps this is a story some kids might want to cover in a BBC School Report? In any event Newsround Blog will come up with a further School Report suggestion next week.

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