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The missing woman's family say police made 27 major mistakes during the investigation


The family of a missing mother of two has accused police of making "27 main mistakes" in their investigation into her disappearance.

Georgina Gharsallah disappeared after leaving her mother's home in West Sussex in March 2018. The investigation was expanded into a murder probe last August.

Her mother, Andrea, feared the 30-year-old was murdered or sexually trafficked, and said her family has since been forced to become the "lead investigators".

Ms. Gharsallah said it was "a role no mother or sister should or would be placed in," adding, "My daughter's investigation should never have been a learning curve for the police."

The family noted a number of mistakes, including critical CCTV recordings that had not been reviewed for over a year and the failure to put Georgina on an Interpol watchlist for more than 18 months.

They also say nine potentially significant segments of video surveillance were lost "without explanation" by Sussex police.

A former Met Police inspector claims the probe would have been handled differently if Georgina "had blue eyes and was middle class".

Georgina Gharsallah disappeared after leaving her mother's home in West Sussex in March 2018

The last sighting of the mother of two, Ms. Gharsallah, on the day she disappeared, was in a cell phone store

The last sighting of the mother of two, Ms. Gharsallah, on the day she disappeared, was in a cell phone store

Her mother, Andrea, feared the 30-year-old was murdered or sexually trafficked, and said her family has since been forced to become the "lead investigators".

Her mother Andrea feared the 30-year-old was murdered or sexually trafficked and said her family has since been forced to become the "lead investigators".

Timeline: How the mother of two disappeared without a trace and revealed important flaws in police investigations

APRIL 27, 2018: Mrs. Garsallah moved back in with her mother after separating from her boyfriend.

MARCH 7, 2018: Georgina Gharsallah left her mother's house. She said her phone wasn't working and she would go to the job center – the last conversation she had with her mother

9.30 a.m .: CCTV footage showed Georgina exiting the Clifton Food and Wine store on Clifton Road in Worthing

11 clock: Her family said all contact with her cell phone was cut off at 11 am and "in all respects she has disappeared from the face of the earth".

4 pm: CCTV footage of a woman who looked like Georgina with another woman carrying bags on Chapel Road. This video surveillance was only recently found by the police

17. MARCH: Georgina is first reported missing to the police

Three weeks later, the police found that their bank cards had also not been used and began handling their case as a suspect. Andrea's home was raided by police, and officers also checked Georgina's ex-boyfriend and other contacts on her phone before exempting everyone from their involvement.

APRIL 20, 2018: A witness claimed they saw Georgina with two men in Worthing between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the day she went missing. This account has now been discredited by the police.

MARCH 2019: Georgina's mother is demanding that redevelopment of the city center be stopped so the site can be searched after her daughter was reportedly seen there with two men

AUGUST: Sussex police said they would now treat Georgina's disappearance as murder but would continue to look for her.

OCTOBER: Crimestoppers said it raised the reward to £ 10,000 in hopes of encouraging someone to come forward

MARCH 2020: Andrea appeared on the This Morning and Crimewatch roadshow

APRIL: Worthing Herald newspaper and Sussex police received ransom notes from scammers who claimed to have Georgina

AUGUST: An account linked to Ms. Gharsallah's handheld PlayStation console will be charged £ 7.99. The police are initiating an investigation

SEPTEMBER: The 30-year-old's family held a press conference on September 16 after seeking help from investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre.

OCTOBER 2020: The family meets with Police Chief Jo Shiner at Police Headquarters on October 2 to discuss the investigation.

Ms. Garsallah moved back in with her mother ten days before she disappeared after separating from her boyfriend.

Ms. Garsallah, who had two young sons under the age of ten, was last seen in the CCTV area at a cell phone store in Worthing, West Sussex, on March 7, 2018. with "a range of cell phones".

She was reported missing to the Sussex Police Department on March 17th and has not accessed her phone, social media accounts or withdrawn any cash from her bank account since she disappeared.

Two men were arrested on suspicion of murder after a witness saw Ms. Gharsallah speak to two men in Worthing on the evening of March 7th.

she were later released without further action.

Ms. Gharsallah's family held a press conference yesterday after seeking help from investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre.

Her mother Andrea, a nurse at a local monastery, yesterday discussed the Sussex Police's internal review of the handling of her case.

She said an account linked to Ms. Gharsallah's handheld PlayStation console was billed a fee of £ 7.99 three weeks ago, which is currently under investigation.

Ms. Gharsallah said the police are now trying to contact Sony for more information about the IP address.

Sussex Police have taken the case to their own professional standards department, but the family say the IOPC police watch dog should deal with it instead.

The family wants a new team, led by the National Crime Agency, to start over and investigate Georgina's disappearance.

A team of investigators who work for the family claims the police made more than 80 mistakes in their investigation and are calling for a fuller review of those alleged mistakes – including an alleged failure to tag Georgina's bank accounts.

Ms. Gharsallah said, “My daughter has been missing for 132 weeks and 921 days.

“It feels like a lifetime to us, especially Georgia's children, to ask for 921 days what happened, how and where.

“It's a constant struggle and we had to try to stay positive – we feel devastated.

“We have no idea whether she is still alive, whether she has suffered or where she could be.

“We have no idea whether she is still alive, whether she has suffered or where she could be.

When we heard the results of the review meeting on September 8th, we learned that the Sussex police had made mistakes in my daughter's case.

& # 39; What a shocking thing to hear.

“The police completely failed to take my daughter's case seriously.

& # 39; Most of the video surveillance was lost, some wasn't checked until a year later.

“We have put our trust in the Sussex Police, but they have abandoned us and neglected the investigation and our families.

"My daughter's investigation should never have been a learning curve for the police."

They are assisted by former Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who played a major role in securing two convictions in the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.

He said he was "really concerned" that the investigation would have been treated differently if Ms. Gharsallah "had blue eyes, was a bourgeois and had a different name".

He added, “The family is wrong and Georgina has not received the investigation it deserves. The investigation must be fully resumed from start to finish.

& # 39; It appears that some of the Met Police Service's mistakes – highlighted in the McPherson review of Stephen Lawrence's murder – were made by the Sussex Police.

& # 39; There needs to be an IOPC investigation into these deficiencies. It is only for the dedication and determination of a mother, Andrea, that these shortcomings have come to light. & # 39;

The mother of two was last seen in a cell phone store in Worthing, West Sussex on March 7, 2018 with a number of cell phones on video surveillance.

The mother of two was last seen in a cell phone store in Worthing, West Sussex on March 7, 2018 with a number of cell phones on video surveillance.

Ms. Gharsallah was reported missing to Sussex Police on March 17th and has not accessed her phone, social media accounts or withdrawn any cash from her bank account since she disappeared. Last year's investigation turned into a killing probe

Ms. Gharsallah was reported missing to Sussex Police on March 17th and has not accessed her phone, social media accounts or withdrawn any cash from her bank account since she disappeared. Last year's investigation turned into a homicide probe

Police described Ms. Gharsallah as 5 feet 2 inches tall, with shoulder-length dark hair, often worn in a topknot with a piercing over her left lip

Police described Ms. Gharsallah as 5 feet 2 inches tall, with shoulder-length dark hair, often worn in a topknot with a piercing over her left lip

A series of alleged errors in the homicide investigation

Georgina's family claim the Sussex Police admitted that:

Important CCTV footage of Georgina's disappearance wasn't reviewed until a year after her disappearance.

Nine potentially significant segments of video surveillance were lost without explanation by the force.

The troop's early search for video surveillance was definitely spatial and too late.

An internal review revealed 27 main flaws in the investigation.

The review itself was 18 months overdue.

No one on the investigation team was certain of their respective roles.

The officers took no responsibility for important tasks.

There were oversight and resource issues.

There was no reason or explanation why Georgina was not placed on the Interpol watchlist for more than 18 months after her disappearance.

The catalog of defects seriously affected the investigation.

The family conducted independent searches without police assistance, and conducted their own video reconstruction of Georgina's final steps, as well as their own crime room.

A reward of £ 10,000 will be offered for information about the disappearance of Georgina.

In March, Chief Inspector Andy Wolstenhome said Georgina's social media and financial activities stopped when she disappeared.

He added, "Because of this, I believe there is no innocent reason for her disappearance."

A Sussex Police spokesman said: “The Surrey and Sussex Crime Review Team has completed a full review of the Sussex Police investigation into Georgina Gharsallah's disappearance.

"And we shared our findings and recommendations with Georgina's family."

Sussex police claim they did not make 27 "major errors" in their investigation.

However, police admitted: “The review found that, while the initial investigations were proportionate and the investigation was adequately escalated with full investigations, there was one aspect of significant missed opportunity.

& # 39; The focus of the investigation was on CCTV, with the parameters not being revised in the light of new information, some CCTV recordings not being secured and some of the CCTVs collected not being displayed in a timely manner.

'This means that some video surveillance may not have been backed up or viewed in a timely manner and then lost for investigation.

“It is impossible to say for sure whether or not this would have significantly affected the progress of the investigation, as the video surveillance is no longer visible and we have been open and honest with Georgina's family on this matter.

The spokeswoman added: "The Sussex Police will consider a voluntary referral to the IOPC after further discussing the matter with Georgina's family."

Police described Ms. Gharsallah as 5 feet 2 inches tall with shoulder-length dark hair, often worn in a topknot with a piercing over her left lip, adding that she had "Arabic features and spoke Arabic among friends".

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