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Tia Sharp: When is a police car not a police car?

by | 8th, August 2012

TIA Sharp: The media focuses on Stuart Hazell. He has been charged with no crime. The police have not arrested him. Still, the media are painting a picture of a man “helping police with their enquiries”. Mr Hazell  (left) is the 37-year-old boyfriend of Tia’s grandmother.

The Daily Telegraph produces a headline:

“Boyfriend of Tia Sharp’s grandmother taken from house by detectives”

Taken? He’s not under arrest.

Two plain-clothed officers arrived at the house Mr Hazell shares with Tia’s grandmother Christine Sharp at 5.30pm and left with him five minutes later. Mr Hazell, 37, who was wearing a grey hooded top, a black jacket and jeans, got into an unmarked police car and was taken to an undisclosed location. A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A man is being interviewed as a witness. He has not been arrested.”

Commander Neil Basu tells the press conference:

“The family want Tia home, they miss her dreadfully…A member of the public has come forward saying that they saw Tia on the estate on the day that she disappeared. This witness has now provided a statement. It states that Tia was seen at approx midday on Friday 3 August leaving her Grandmother’s house. We are following up that sighting.”

Sky News:

Tia: Police Interview Gran’s Boyfriend

Why not: ‘Boyfriend helps police’?

The BBC reports:

Mr Basu stressed the investigation was still a missing person’s inquiry and did not suggest there were any suspects in the case. Earlier, two men in plain clothes were seen entering Mrs Sharp’s house before leaving the area with Mr Hazell, in a black car.

Sky News says:

The boyfriend of missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp’s grandmother has left his home and been driven away in a police car.

Black car. Police car. The inference changes, doesn’t it? Words matter.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola from the Metropolitan Police tells media:

“We know Tia was at her grandmother’s house and slept late on the morning of Friday August 3. She then left to get the bus. She told her grandmother’s partner she was going out. He was the last person to see her, that we are aware of at this time.”

The Guardian: “Missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp: police take dogs to grandmother’s house”

Dogs? What sort? Sniffer dogs?

Police searching for the missing 12-year-old Tia Sharp were seen taking a German shepherd dog into her grandmother’s home on Wednesday, as the hunt continued for the schoolgirl reported missing five days ago. A dog handler and the animal entered the terraced house in New Addington, south London, soon after detectives updated Tia’s family on progress. They left after about 20 minutes. The house is thought to be the last place that Tia was seen before her disappearance.

No. Not sniffer dogs. A dog. An Alsatian dog. The Met’s website tells us:

General Purpose Dogs, usually German or Belgian Shepherd Dogs, patrol London with their handlers. They have a range of skills, including:

Searching for suspects and missing people.
Locating objects dropped or concealed during a criminal incident.
Following a track left by a person on the ground.
Chasing and detaining a person who runs away when challenged to stop.
Disarming violent armed suspects and controlling hostile crowds.

The Sun stirs the pot:

Police dogs check home of missing Tia’s gran and partner

Did they? The Guardian saw one dog. In the article, the Sun says it was one dog. So, why say “police dogs check”? Are the tabloid and the Guardian forming an impression?

The Surrey Comet:

The father of missing 12 year-old Tia Sharp believes his daughter is still alive. Steven Carter and his family have been scouring New Addington since Saturday searching for Tia.

Sign fitter Mr Carter, who is separated from Tia’s mother Natalie, said he would know if something had happened to her.

He said: “At the candle lighting David Sharp (Tia’s uncle) lit the candle for me. We’re good friends, he was the one who told me this was happening. I don’t like the idea, candles for me mean death, so I blew mine out. When she is home and safe I’ll re-light mine.”

A big search is underway:

Commander Neil Basu of the Metropolitan police told reporters 100 extra officers had been allocated to the case, which already features 40 detectives and 40 search specialists.

Every parent’s worst nightmare:

Cmdr Basu said: “It goes without saying that this is an absolutely terrible time for Tia’s family and friends who are all desperate for her to be found safe and well. At a very similar age my eldest son went missing for two hours. It was the worst two hours of my life. I can’t imagine how this family are feeling after 5 days. The family want Tia home. They miss her dreadfully. We are doing everything we possibly can to find her and trying to support her family at this time.”

Story so far here.

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BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Undated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of 12-year-old Tia Sharp, who was last seen leaving her grandmother's home in New Addington, south east London, at around midday on Friday.



Posted: 8th, August 2012 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink