Police admit 'human error' led to five day delay of body discovery in Tia Sharp case
The Metropolitan Police have admitted human error delayed the discovery of a body at Tia Sharp's grandmother's New Addington home.
In a statement, Commander Neil Basu said four scene examinations were carried out at the property in The Lindens, and his officers had previously searched the area the body was found.
Commander Basu said: "The first was immediately after the missing person report was received on Friday, August 3, where an initial visit was made to assess the situation and examine the property.
"This visit was not regarded or viewed as a full search of the property.
"The second visit was a full search of the property with the consent of the occupiers. This was conducted on 5 August over a period of two hours.
"All parts of the premises were searched including the location where a body was discovered, five days later, on Friday 10 August.
"An early review has been conducted and it is now clear that human error delayed the discovery of the body within the house.
"We have apologised to Tia's mother that our procedures did not lead to the discovery of the body on this search.
"A third visit was undertaken on 8 August. This was not a search, but the attendance of a body recovery dog to assist the investigation team in their enquiries.
"It is not appropriate to comment further on aspects of the criminal investigation currently being conducted but our investigation was such that it was decided that a further intrusive search needed to be undertaken - it was that search, yesterday, which resulted in the discovery.
"On behalf of the Metropolitan Police I apologise for the distress and concern this delay will have caused.
"A continuing review and examination of our search processes will be undertaken to ensure such a failing is not repeated."