McCanns welcome new alert for lost children
Kate and Gerry McCann yesterday welcomed progress on developing a Europe-wide alert system for missing children.
The couple, speaking days before the third anniversary of the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, said they were "delighted and relieved" that the cross-border scheme, boosted by €1m of EU funding, was now going ahead.
Members of the European Parliament overwhelmingly backed the idea last year and endorsement from EU government ministers six months ago turned it into official EU policy.
Now the EU funding has paid for studies into the details of cross-border co-operation, and the UK part of the missing child early warning network will be launched on May 25, International Missing Children's Day.
"We are delighted and relieved that this system is being introduced," said the McCanns in a statement.
"We very much welcome this new initiative and we hope that a truly integrated European alert system can now be developed and used to combat child abduction.
"The first hours after a child goes missing are crucial and if such international co-operation stops just one child from being abducted, then all the work involved will have been worthwhile."
Madeleine went missing during a family holiday in Portugal, on May 3, 2007.