British and Portuguese police officers will collaborate on a search for clues in the Madeleine McCann case in Portugal in the next few weeks.
The officers will be in the rest of Praia da Luz for the start of what the Metropolitan police said was a “substantial phase of activity on the ground.”
Mark Rowley, an assistant commissioner at the Met, told the Guardian that the investigation will include following up on lines of inquiry developed through the investigation, including speaking to persons of interest and looking at phone data or financial records.
The police will search at least three areas in and around the resort, including a wasteground behind a nearby church, an area where construction was being carried out when McCann vanished, and an unidentified area near the beach.
Also being focused on are two areas near the apartment where the McCanns were staying in 2007, when three-year-old McCann disappeared, reported the Mirror.
New aerial photographs will likely be taken and officers will try to identify any changes in vegetation or other similar environmental aspects.
Forensic teams will probe such sites with ground-penetrating radar, and bring in diggers if deemed necessary.
Rowley cautioned that the uptick in visible activity in the investigation “should not be seen as a sign that the investigation is nearing a conclusion.”
“The very fact that we are in the position of moving towards substantial activity shows the relationship between the Met and its Portuguese colleagues is working,” he said.
He added that McCann’s parents would be kept up to date throughout the search.