Somerset

Missing man's family plan action against Spanish police

Phil Pearce, right, Image copyright Google/Family photo
Image caption Phil Pearce, 68, from Bridgwater, was last seen in Benidorm on 10 September

The family of a man who went missing in Benidorm plan to take legal action against Spanish police to force them to release CCTV of his last movements.

Phil Pearce, from Bridgwater in Somerset, was visiting the holiday resort in September when he vanished. He was last seen at a police station, where a camera captured him leaving.

His son, Lee, said he has been told he must go to court to obtain the footage.

A spokesperson for the Policía Nacional declined to comment.

"[Spanish police] have been a big let-down," said Mr Pearce. "They have told me data protection rules mean we can't get the CCTV, they say we need to go to court."

'Disgusting'

Mr Pearce's 68-year-old father was last seen on the morning of September 10 after being taken by a member of the public in a confused state to a police station, but he left and hasn't been seen since.

Spanish police allegedly told the missing man's son that GDPR rules prevented them from releasing footage to the family.

The family plans to file papers with the Spanish court.

"Avon & Somerset Police have been brilliant, and have helped us since day one, but the Spanish police have put the phone down on them and haven't replied to their emails," said Mr Pearce.

"We haven't got a body so we've got to hope that dad is still alive."

Mr Pearce also claimed local police had taken down his father's missing posters after mistakenly believing he was found.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: "We continue to offer support to the family of a British man who has been reported missing in Benidorm, and are in contact with the Spanish authorities responsible for searching for him."

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