Teen found safe and abducter arrested after Spain manhunt

A 15-year-old girl who went missing from her home in East London with a man nearly twice her age was spotted in Madrid.

Teen found safe and abducter arrested after Spain manhunt
Have you seen this couple? Photo: Metropolitan Police

 Elena Ciochina was spotted in Madrid at the weekend following a public appeal for help and the man was arrested for abduction.

A manhunt was launched after a European Arrest Warrant had been issued for a Romanian 27-year-old accused of abducting the teenage girl from East London.

British police asked for help from their Spanish counterparts to find Ionut Gheorghe after he went on the run with the teenage girl. 

The girl, also Romanian, disappeared from her home in Newham, east London, on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd July, Scotland Yard said.

Gheorghe was spotted on CCTV taking cash out of machine in Enfield North London earlier that afternoon.

Police believed the pair had fled the UK and were making their way to the Guadalajara area of Spain, to the north east of Madrid.

The metropolitan police described Elena as “1.75m tall, with waist-length black hair. She was wearing a black Tshirt, black jogging bottoms and black plimsolls. It is believed she is in possession of a Romanian identity card.”

The statement said Georghe was “white, about 1.70m tall, of heavy build with short light brown hair, he was last seen wearing a white T-Shirt, dark shorts and dark coloured flip flops.”


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Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

Spanish police have begun wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public in a move aimed at ensuring greater security that is gaining ground in Europe and the US.

Spain police start wearing bodycams to boost security

The interior ministry said the bodycam was launched Monday and would be “rolled out on a gradual basis to all police officers”, without saying how many were involved in the initial stages.

Spain’s TVE public television said the tiny cameras were being attached to the officers’ uniforms and could be activated either manually or automatically.

The main Spanish police union JUPOL hailed the move on Twitter, saying it was in response to “a request that the union has been making”.

“It will guarantee security, both for us to avoid any kind of misrepresentation of our interventions, as well as for the public, who will be able to clearly see the police’s professionalism and that there is no abuse of power nor excesses,” union spokesman Pablo Pérez told TVE.

Forces in Europe and the United States are increasingly turning to such technology to boost transparency following a string of fatal shootings and other claims against police over the past decade.

“The cameras are being used under public safety protocols in order to record everything that happens in the event of an unwarranted offence during an operation,” Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande Marlaska told TVE ahead of the rollout.

“If they are activated, it is to guarantee security and really be transparent so that the officers’ actions can be seen and checked,” the minister said.

“This means security for both the police and the public,” he added, suggesting that in time, they would also be available to Spain’s Guardia Civil rural police force.

France began trialling bodycams, known as “pedestrian cameras”, in 2013
before a gradual rollout in 2015 in a move welcomed by police, but greeted with scepticism by rights groups who said there was no guarantee they would be always activated.

Police in London and New York also began pilot schemes in 2014 with credit-card-sized cameras clipped onto their uniforms with the technology gradually deployed over the following years.

But the cameras have had mixed success. The absence of any legal obligation governing their use can also limit their scope to uncover police misconduct.