Portuguese police met the parents of Madeleine McCann and apologised to them for the way they handled her disappearance.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday complex in the Algarve in May 2007.

Her disappearance sparked one of the most high-profile missing persons searches in history.

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have vowed to never give up looking for their daughter.

BBC News reports that a delegation of senior officers travelled from Lisbon to London earlier this year.

They met Gerry McCann and apologised for the way detectives investigated the case and treated the family.

The Oldham Times: A delegation of police officers met Gerry McCann to apologiseA delegation of police officers met Gerry McCann to apologise (Image: Joe Giddens/PA)

The McCann family has not commented on the apology and their daughter's disappearance remains unsolved.

How did Portuguese police investigate Madeleine McCann disappearance?

Around four months after Madeleine initially went missing Kate and Gerry McCann were considered suspects in the Portuguese investigation.

Both were questioned by detectives, who believed they had staged an abduction and concealed Madeleine's body.

Mrs McCann said she was offered a deal to admit covering up her daughter's death in exchange for a shorter sentence.

Whilst their status as suspects was lifted in 2008 they remained under suspicion in Portugal for years.

Portuguese police now say their initial investigation into Madeleine's disappearance was not handled properly, BBC News reports.

This was in part due to the "insufficient importance given at the time to missing children" and the fact the parents' "position as foreigners in an environment they did not understand was not appreciated".

They also told the BBC they had briefed the McCanns on their ongoing investigation when they visited.