UPDATES:

Police investigating the disappearance of schoolgirl Tia Sharp have apologised for the delay in finding a body in her grandmother's house, blaming human error and have apologised to Tia's mother.

Commander Neil Basu said in a statement released on Saturday "it is now clear that human error delayed the discovery of the body within the house."

"On behalf of the Metropolitan Police I apologise for the distress and concern this delay will have caused. A continuing review and examination of our search processes will be undertaken to ensure such a failing is not repeated."

christine sharp

Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, leaves her home accompanied by detectives

Human remains were discovered at Tia's grandmother's house in south London on the fourth examination of the property on Friday - one week after she was reported missing.

Her grandmother Christine Sharp, 46, and her partner Stuart Hazell, 37, were arrested on suspicion of murder following the discovery of the body.

Hazell was arrested in a public place - believed to be a park - in the south London borough of Merton at about 8.25pm on Friday night.

It is understood he was identified by schoolgirl Chloe Bird, 11, shortly after he bought alcohol in an off-licence.

Her stepfather Nick Keeley, 40, said she came back home and told him that she had spotted Mr Hazell.

He said he was not then aware he was wanted by officers but when his step-daughter directed him to news reports he rang the police.

"The police were here within five minutes," he told Sky News.

shrine for tia

Tia Sharp's grandmother has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Police have not revealed where the body was discovered, but officers were seen taking a ladder into the property yesterday afternoon, sparking rumours that it may have been in the loft.

Christine Sharp's next-door neighbour Paul Meehan, 39, has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Apologising to Tia's mother Natalie, Mr Basu explained that the first examination of the property in New Addington was not a full search.

He said mistakes were made on the second search two days later. This exercise took two hours. Mr Basu said the occupiers gave their consent to this search.

"All parts of the premises were searched including the location where a body was discovered, five days later, on Friday, August 10," he said.

The senior officer said a third visit took place on Wednesday.

"This was not a search, but the attendance of a body recovery dog to assist the investigation team in their inquiries," he said.

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  • Missing girl

    RETRANSMISSION IMPROVING ASPECT RATIO.BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE.Undated Metropolitan Police handout photo of Tia Sharp.

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp leaves in a police vehicle accompanied by detectives on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police seal off the estate surrounding the home of Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police forensic units approach the sealed off home of Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police seal off the estate surrounding the home of Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police seal off the estate surrounding the home of Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police seal off the estate surrounding the home of Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp leaves her home accompanied by detectives on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp leaves her home accompanied by detectives on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp leaves her home accompanied by detectives on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Police dogs leave after searching the house of the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Christine Sharp, the grandmother of missing Tia Sharp leaves her home accompanied by detectives on August 10, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: DCI Nick Scola makes a statement to the press outside the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother, where a candle burns in the garden on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Police from Durham constabulary, drafted in from Olympic duties, search garages around the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: DCI Nick Scola makes a statement to the press outside the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: DCI Nick Scola makes a statement to the press outside the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: David Sharp makes a statement to the press concerning missng Tia Sharp, his niece, outside her grandmother's home on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: David Sharp makes a statement to the press concerning missng Tia Sharp, his niece, outside her grandmother's home on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Police search refuse bins around the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, in the in the London Borough of Croydon, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • The Search Continues For Missing Schoolgirl Tia Sharp

    CROYDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Police search refuse bins around the home of Tia Sharp's grandmother on August 9, 2012 in New Addington, in the in the London Borough of Croydon, England. Tia has been missing since last friday, when she was last seen leaving her grandmother's home to go shopping in nearby Croydon. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

  • Missing girl

    Forensic police officers leave the home of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing school girl Tia Sharp in New Addington near Croydon today.

  • Missing girl

    Forensic police officers leave the home of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing school girl Tia Sharp in New Addington near Croydon today.

  • Missing Girl

    DCI Nick Scola speaks to the media in New Addington, Croydon, as police continue to investigate the disappearance of Tia Sharp.

  • Missing Girl

    David Sharp, the uncle of missing Tia Sharp, speaks to the media in New Addington, Croydon.

  • Missing girl

    David Sharp, the uncle of missing Tia Sharp, speaks to the media in New Addington, Croydon.

  • Missing girl

    A police officers takes a break from searching through rubbish bins near Tia Sharp's grandmother's home in New Addington, London.

  • Missing girl

    Police officers search through rubbish bins near Tia Sharp's grandmother's home in New Addington, London.

  • Missing girl

    Police officers search through rubbish bins outside Tia Sharp's grandmother's home in New Addington, London.

  • Missing girl

    Stuart Hazell,37, the partner of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, leaves their home at the Lindens, New Addington, south east London, with detectives, as police and worried community members continued to search for the missing schoolgirl, five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    Stuart Hazell,37, the partner of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, leaves their home at the Lindens, New Addington, south east London, with detectives, as police and worried community members continued to search for the missing schoolgirl, five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    Stuart Hazell,37, the partner of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, is mobbed by the media, as he leaves their home at the Lindens, New Addington, south east London, with detectives, as police and worried community members continued to search for missing the schoolgirl five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    Stuart Hazell,37, the partner of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, follows a detective as he leaves their home at the Lindens, New Addington, south east London, as police and worried community members continued to search for missing the schoolgirl five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    Stuart Hazell,37, the partner of Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, is mobbed by the media, as he leaves their home at the Lindens, New Addington, south east London, with detectives, as police and worried community members continued to search for missing the schoolgirl five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    A general view of the home Christine Sharp, grandmother of missing Tia Sharp, in New Addington, London, as police and worried community members are continuing to search for missing the schoolgirl five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    Messages are left at a bus stop near the home of Christine Sharp, grandmother of Tia Sharp, who went missing last Friday, as police and worried community members continued to search for missing the schoolgirl five days after she vanished without a trace.

  • Missing girl

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEUndated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of 12-year-old Tia Sharp, who was last seen leaving her grandmother's home in New Addington, south east London, at around midday on Friday.

  • Missing girl

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLEUndated handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of 12-year-old Tia Sharp, who was last seen leaving her grandmother's home in New Addington, south east London, at around midday on Friday.

Neil Basu's full statement

We wish to provide further details regarding the searches that occurred in the past week at 20 The Lindens, New Addington.

The Metropolitan Police has launched a murder enquiry following the discovery of a body at the address yesterday and a number of people are in custody.

It is important that we explain more about the circumstances of the searches.

Four scene examinations were conducted of the property. The first followed immediately from the missing person report that was received on Friday 4 August. An initial visit was made to assess the situation and examine the property. This visit was not regarded or viewed as a full search of the property.

The second visit was a full search of the property with the consent of the occupiers. This was conducted on 5 August over a period of two hours. All parts of the premises were searched including the location where a body was discovered, five days later, on Friday 10 August.

An early review has been conducted and it is now clear that human error delayed the discovery of the body within the house. We have apologised to Tia's mother that our procedures did not lead to the discovery of the body on this search.

A third visit was undertaken on 8 August. This was not a search, but the attendance of a body recovery dog to assist the investigation team in their enquiries.

It is not appropriate to comment further on aspects of the criminal investigation currently being conducted but our investigation was such that it was decided that a further intrusive search needed to be undertaken - it was that search, yesterday, which resulted in the discovery.

On behalf of the Metropolitan Police I apologise for the distress and concern this delay will have caused. A continuing review and examination of our search processes will be undertaken to ensure such a failing is not repeated.

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  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp (C), the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, attends a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return with his friends Mark Havers (L) and Steven Subine (R) on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp (C), the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, attends a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola holds up a CCTV image of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp in a press conference in New Scotland Yard where David Sharp, Tia Sharp's uncle, appealed for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp (R), the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, and Detective Chief Inspector Nick Scola attend a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp (R), the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, attends a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp, the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, attends a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

  • A Press Conference Is Held Into The Disappearnce Of 12 Year Old Tia Sharp

    LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: David Sharp (R), the uncle of missing schoolgirl Tia Sharp, attends a press conference in New Scotland yard to appeal for her safe return on August 6, 2012 in London, England. Tia Sharp, aged 12, has been missing since leaving her grandmother's house in New Addington on Friday afternoon and was last sighted heading to the Whitgift shopping centre in Croydon. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)