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Missing girl April Jones puts police in spotlight

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

  • Superintendent Ian John holding a press conference into the missing 5-year-old April Jones in Machynlleth


STARTLING statistics surrounding media coverage of the disappearance of April Jones have been revealed by bosses at Dyfed-Powys Police.

Chief Constable Jackie Roberts has written a short report on Operation Tempest, due to be presented to the Police Authority on Monday.

In it she reveals that the force's communications department saw 300 media representatives descend on Machynlleth in the days following the alleged abduction of the five-year-old earlier this month.

And she adds that press officers dealt with more than 400 logged media requests relating to April.

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The news comes as police have emphasised that the intensity in the search for April is continuing.

In her quarterly report, she said: "I think it would be worthwhile drawing members' attention to the scope of the media interest that surrounded the tragic events of Operation Tempest.

"The way that the force managed the communications element of the operation have been widely praised."

Mrs Roberts described some of the statistics as "quite startling", adding that 225,000 articles were available online relating to April, including a dedicated Wikipedia page.

"We were the main feature on rolling news from Tuesday to Saturday and the level of media interest remains high," she said, adding that the force's Twitter followers increased five-fold, from 2500 to 12600.

"We have had articles in the media all over the world," she added. "It is a truly global story."

Mrs Roberts has praised the "outstanding support" from partner agencies, including South Wales and Gwent police, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Government.

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