By Lori Campbell, sundaymirror.co.uk 27/07/2008
Portuguese police knocked on just 443 doors in the failed hunt for missing Madeleine McCann.
Their investigation was last night branded “pathetic” by her parents Kate and Gerry, who are furious police did not do more to find their daughter.
There are 7,000 homes in Praia da Luz, the resort where four-year-old Madeleine was snatched – but police went to fewer than one in 10 doors, says a report into the investigation.
In stark contrast, British police probing the disappearance of Shannon Matthews earlier this year knocked on 5,000 doors and searched 2,000 houses.
Nine-year-old Shannon was found in 24 days, whereas Portuguese police have stopped looking for Madeleine after 14 months.
A friend of the McCanns said: “The 443 doors would barely cover 500 yards from the apartment where Madeleine was taken. That is shocking and unacceptable.”
Police didn’t even bother to go out of the resort to question residents in neighbouring towns.
The McCanns expect to see the full police report this week and their team of private investigators will go through every shred of evidence.
The source added: “They will analyse exactly what has and hasn’t been done. If it means going back to the very basics of knocking on doors in Praia da Luz, then they will do it.
“The report shows Portuguese police clearly didn’t do a thorough job from day one. It is immensely frustrating for Kate and Gerry.” Former chief superintendent Dai Davies, who was head of the Royal Protection Squad, slammed the Portuguese detectives’ efforts as shameful.
He said: “It is simply ridiculous they only knocked on 443 doors. That would take just a few hours.
“In the UK, officers go to thousands of doors and don’t give up until they have a lead.
That is basic policing, especially in an abduction case when the child could still be nearby.”