Police take unusual step of releasing suspect's image in April Jones case

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The image police released of Mark Bridger, 46 Photo: Dyfed Powys Police handout

Police believe they could still find April Jones alive but are in a race against time after arresting Mark Bridger over her abduction.

In an unusual move, Detective Superintendent Reg Bevan publicly confirmed the name of his suspect and released his image.

He also showed a photograph of Mr Bridger's Land Rover Discovery with the registration plate L503 MEP.

Releasing a suspect's name and photo while they're already in custody is extraordinarily unusual, perhaps even unprecedented, But there's a sense here now that these are desperate times and perhaps desperate measures are needed.

I understand Dyfed-Powys Police took legal advice before taking this decision and went ahead on the basis that such an appeal could potentially generate lifesaving information.

The image police released of Mr Bridger's Land Rover Discovery Credit: Dyfed Powys Police handout

I also understand that when Mark Bridger was arrested yesterday, police carried out what is known as a 'safety interview'.

Instead of taking him back to the police station to begin questioning him, they asked him some very specific questions there and then before he'd had any legal advice.

Questions like: Do you know where April is? Is there anything you can tell us that could help safeguard her?

While not illegal, that too is unusual.

It is a measure of how dangerous police feel the coming hours are for April's well-being that they are taking these steps.

They want to hear from anyone who saw Mr Bridger or his car from 5.30pm on Monday to 3.30pm yesterday to call them immediately on 0300 2000 333.