SUSSEX Police have accepted “a number of key failings in the case”, Georgina’s family said.

Last Tuesday, the family were invited by the force to a review of the investigation.

The meeting included three members of Sussex Police, including Michaela Haddock, a family liaison officer, Emma Heater, chief of major crime, and the reviewing officer, former police officer David Hills.

READ MORE: Georgina Gharsallah disappearance: 'Race impacted the investigation'

Georgina’s mother Andrea Gharsallah along with sisters Sonia and Arij, both 28, father Gasem Gharsallah, 62, and the family’s legal adviser Matt Goode of ABR Solicitors represented the family.

They claim the force admitted during the meeting that:

  • Key CCTV footage related to the disappearance of Georgina was not reviewed until a year after her disappearance.
  • Nine potentially significant segments of CCTV were lost by the force without explanation.
  • The force’s early search for CCTV in any event was too limited in area and late.
  • Twenty seven key failings in the investigation were uncovered in an internal review.
  • The review itself was 18 months overdue.
  • Nobody in the investigating team were sure of their respective roles.
  • Officers did not take responsibility for key tasks.
  • There were issues with oversight and resources.
  • No reason or explanation was available for the failure to place Georgina on the Interpol watch list for more than 18 months after her disappearance.
  • The catalogue of failings has seriously compromised the investigation.

The family say no apology has been offered by Sussex Police.

At the family’s request, a meeting has been arranged to meet the Chief Constable Jo Shiner at Police Headquarters on October 2 to discuss the investigation.

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. 

"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."