Police slammed for ‘not doing enough’ in hunt for missing Jay Slater as friends ‘take search effort into own hands’

21 June 2024, 08:07 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 08:47

A friend of missing Jay Slater has said the Spanish police are 'not doing a good enough job' in the search.
A friend of missing Jay Slater has said the Spanish police are 'not doing a good enough job' in the search. Picture: Family handout/Instagram

By Jenny Medlicott

Spanish police investigating the disappearance of missing British teenager Jay Slater are ‘not doing a good enough job’, his friends have said.

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Jay Slater, 19, from Oswaldtwistle in Lancashire, travelled to the Canary Islands for a weekend music festival with two friends when he disappeared late on Sunday evening.

The teenager was attending the 'New Rave Generation' (NRG) festival, but chose to stay behind with a group of strangers he had met instead of returning to where he was staying with friends.

He was last heard from by his friend Lucy at approximately 8am on Monday, who said he rang her saying he "didn't know where he was", that he "needed a drink" and had "cut his leg on a cactus". He also said he only had one per cent battery on his phone.

Mountain rescue officers and sniffer dogs have been scouring the mountains of the north of the island since Monday.

On the fourth day of the search for the 19-year-old, his friends expressed frustration with the efforts of local police and said they had started searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses themselves.

His friend Lucy Law, 18, who travelled to Tenerife with Mr Slater, criticised Spanish police for “not doing a good enough job” in the search.

Read more: Missing Jay Slater seen on video at packed Tenerife rave just hours before he vanished as search enters fourth night

Read more: Last person to speak to missing Jay Slater claims he has been kidnapped and ‘something sinister is going on’

'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues.
'Family❤️' read the caption on Jay Slater's brother's Facebook page, as the hunt for the teen continues. Picture: Facebook: Zak Slayter
Jay Slater's last location was the Rural De Teno park
Jay Slater's last location was the Rural De Teno park. Picture: Getty

More than two dozen relatives and friends have travelled to the island to assist in the search for the 19-year-old apprentice bricklayer.

She told The Times: “We were driving around the island for 12 hours. We have been everywhere you can imagine, up and down the mountain several times and searching spots that he might have sheltered in.

“We are having to do this all by ourselves as Spanish police are not doing a good enough job. They don’t even speak English. It’s been a very slow process here so we need the British police to come out and help them.”

On Thursday night, the Spanish Civil Guard shared a video of their search efforts for Mr Slater.

Sharing the footage to X, they wrote: “The search for the young British man missing in the Masca neighborhood of Buenavista (Tenerife) continues, in which different units of the Civil Guard participate.”

The footage shows officers scouring different expanses of the mountainous region by foot, car and helicopter.

Shortly before Mr Slater’s battery ran out on Monday he posted a photo on Snapchat of himself seemingly at a villa in the north of the island.

Ms Law used the photo to track down the apparent villa and spoke to the two men there.

She said they told her that the 19-year-old had gone out for a cigarette before he returned and said he wanted to go home.

The men offered to drive him back later in the morning but Mr Slater said he would walk instead, Ms Law added.

She continued: “They told me he’d spoken to the next-door neighbours and they’d told him there was a bus every ten minutes back down to Los Cristianos.

“The bus stop was right next to the house. So obviously if he’d gone to get the bus he wouldn’t have got lost because it [the stop] was visible from the front door.”

But the rip back down from the mountains is an hour’s drive and “everything looks the same”, Ms Law added.

“I can’t understand why he would come out of the house and then decide he was going to walk. I think he maybe set off walking with battery [charge on his phone] and had not realised how far the walk actually is,” she told Sky News.

The Spanish Civil Guard have said they are “doing everything possible” to find Mr Slater.

It comes after fresh footage emerged of the 19-year-old at the festival on social media on Thursday.

The video shows him walking across a packed dance floor with sunglasses on his head.

It is understood to have been taken just hours before he vanished on the night out.

The last person to speak Jay claimed he had been kidnapped and ‘something sinister is going on’.

Spanish police have not entertained kidnap as a line of inquiry and are treating him as a missing person.

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