While the world looks on in amazement, Portuguese police officers have made a number of insulting remarks against their British counterparts, alleging that they don't know how to do their job and only investigate what parents Gerry and Kate tell them to investigate. When British detectives kept a dignified silence, this made Portuguese police even angrier and now they have demanded "a rumble".
Rumbles or fights are quite common in less-developed countries like Portugal, where people make up for their lack of brains by sheer brawn. Indeed, when the country's Parliament is unable to decide on something because equal numbers of MPs vote for and against a new law, the leaders of the main parties settle the matter with a duel, relying not on pistols or swords, but on knuckledusters and flick knives.
British police have expressed surprise at the latest tirade from Portugal, pointing out that it was the British police who suggested that police in Portimaio should:
- look under the beds and in the bathroom of her parents' holiday apartment, in case Madeleine was hiding there,
- dust the whole place for fingerprints and take DNA samples from the apartment, Maddie's belongings and from family members,
- carry out a search of the neighbourhood to find either Maddie or some evidence that she had been there
Up till then, Portuguese police had simply been sitting in the veranda, wearing sombreros and playing guitars.
British police also suggested that their foreign counterparts should try a technique called interviewing witnesses and suspects. Portuguese police simply declare people suspects for 9 months until the public and the media forget about the case.
If there is to be a fight between British police and their Portuguese counterparts, the clever money is on the Brits to win. One expert on police fights said:
"The Metropolitan Police has many years of experience of beating up suspects and each other. Half a dozen of their toughest nutters would make mincemeat of the Portuguese side."
The new Wembley stadium is a possible venue for the police fight.