South Yorkshire Police is leading a team of specialist search advisers who have travelled to the Greek Island of Kos to support the Greek authorities as they search for missing Sheffield toddler Ben Needham.
Greek police are pursuing a line of enquiry centred on the grounds of the property from which Ben disappeared in 1991 aged 21 months.
Beginning tomorrow (Friday, 19 October, 2012) work will begin to examine the ground, including using geophysical ground examination equipment, to determine whether any area should be dug.
Other specialist resources include a forensic archaeologist and search dogs.
The operation, expected to last a week to ten days, follows a Greek police request for specialist support to follow through a line of enquiry they have developed.
During the past 18 months, South Yorkshire Police has also reviewed all material held by the Greek police in relation to Ben's disappearance in order to support the Greek enquiry. SYP has also obtained Ben's DNA from Sheffield Children's Hospital.
SYP has for a number of years supported Ben's mum Kerry and other members of the family.
In a statement, Kerry said:
'Just over a year ago, I visited Kos and spoke to the Greek Prosecutor and the Chief of Police for the island. They promised me they were serious about reinvestigating the disappearance of my son Ben, I am so pleased that this investigation is now moving forward and that the Greek authorities are showing a true commitment to investigate Ben’s disappearance.
My family have been updated and supported throughout this time by officers from South Yorkshire Police and as a family, we are so pleased that the Greek Authorities have allowed the team of experts led by Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick to assist them with the search. Today is just a start, I understand that all possibilities have to be considered and the search of the area around the building work where Ben disappeared is part of that.'