NEWS “without comment”
Sussex Police admits losing evidence in missing Georgina Gharsallah case
Wednesday 16 September 2020
The family of woman who disappeared from Worthing two years ago, has accused Sussex Police of ‘multiple failings’ in the investigation of the case.
Georgina Gharsallah was last seen on 7 March 2018 and was reported missing ten days later.
Georgina’s family claim that detectives told them this month that key CCTV was looked at too late, other CCTV was lost and that officers took no responsibility.
In a review of the case, Sussex Police admitted that some CCTV was ‘not potentially secured or viewed in sufficient time and was then lost to the investigation’.
In an online press conference, her mother made clear her frustration towards Sussex Police.
Andrea Gharsallah said: “We put our trust in Sussex Police but they failed us. They neglected the investigation, failed Georgina, failed us, and her family. We have no idea if she is still alive, if she suffered, or where she may be lying, if that’s the case. We put our faith in the investigating team from the beginning because that is what you do. It is like handing the care of your daughter over to them.”
The family has hired in a private detective in their search.
While there have been no confirmed sightings, her family revealed that a bank account connected to one of Georgina’s devices was used within the last three weeks.
Campaign Producer, Steve Langridge, says: “A bank account linked to a PlayStation console which was in Georgina’s possession on the day she went missing was triggered in the last three weeks with a debit card payment. The police are currently waiting for Sony USA to come back to them with more information.”
Sussex Police’s response in full:
A full review of Sussex Police’s investigation into the disappearance of Georgina Gharsallah has been completed by the Surrey and Sussex Crime Review Team, and we have shared our findings and recommendations with Georgina’s family. The review was commissioned by Chief Constable Jo Shiner, then Deputy Chief Constable. Georgina was last seen on March 7, 2018, and the review has examined the entire investigation from the day that Georgina was first reported missing to police 10 days later, on March 17. Her disappearance remains under active investigation by the Major Crime Team. The review found that, whilst initial enquiries were proportionate and the investigation was escalated appropriately with comprehensive enquiries taking place, there were significant missed opportunities in one aspect, the investigation strand focusing on CCTV, with the parameters not being reviewed in the light of new information, some CCTV footage not being secured and some of the CCTV that was collected not being viewed in a timely manner. This means that some CCTV was not potentially secured or viewed in sufficient time and was then lost to the investigation. It is impossible to say, with any certainty, whether or not this would have made a tangible difference to the progress of the investigation as the CCTV can no longer be viewed and we have been open and honest with Georgina’s family on this issue. We refute any suggestion of racial bias in this case. We acknowledge that this is a distressing time for Georgina’s family and remain absolutely committed to investigating Georgina’s disappearance and to finding the answers her family desperately need. The Chief Constable will personally meet with the family early next month. We continue to appeal for people to come forward with any information that may assist in ascertaining what happened to Georgina and any viable lines of enquiry will be investigated.
Anyone with any information should either report this online or call 101 quoting Operation Pavo.
Crimestoppers charity is offering a reward of up to £10,000 for information the charity exclusively receives.
You can contact them via their website (https://crimestoppers-uk.org/) or call 0800 555 111.