THE family of missing Georgina Gharsallah say her disappearance was not properly investigated due to “the colour of her skin”.

The mother-of-two, 30, disappeared near the centre of Worthing more than two years ago and has not been seen since.

At a press conference held this afternoon, her family claimed Sussex Police “have admitted a number of key failings” in the case – including lost CCTV, limited searches and a failure to put Georgina on the Interpol Watch List for more than 18 months.

READ MORE: Family list failings in missing Georgina Gharsallah case

Georgina “vanished without a trace” on March 7, 2018, but the case was not upgraded to a murder investigation until August last year.

Georgina’s mother, Andrea, along with investigative journalist Donal Macintyre said the investigation suffered from a “substantial disservice” due to her “colour, race and class”.

Sussex Police refute any suggestion of racial bias in this case. 

The Argus:

Andrea, who has led a campaign to uncover what happened to her daughter, said: “I think it played quite an important part.

“I think in the beginning the police didn’t take Georgina being missing very seriously because of her race and her colour and her past history.

“But every person is the same and no one should be treated any different, regardless of colour, race, who they are or what they do.

“I definitely think it played a big part in them not taking it seriously when we first reported it.

“We felt we were not getting the right service.

“We felt like Georgina was not getting what she deserved – every missing person deserves to be looked for.”

READ MORE: Family list failings in missing Georgina Gharsallah case

One lead, which the family say was not thoroughly investigated, was a charge which appeared on Georgina’s bank account in July, more than two years after she disappeared.

It showed a £7.99 charge from a PlayStation account.

The family is trying to get Sony, which makes PlayStation, to investigate the bill.

“I definitely think that if she was ‘Georgina Brown’ I think it would have got better treatment of the case,” Andrea said.

“I think in the beginning they didn’t take it seriously, they thought Georgina was off to have a good time somewhere.”

Anyone with any information about Georgina Gharsallah should either report it to the police online or call them on 101 quoting Operation Pavo.

Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to £10,000 for information.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "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."

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