Tuesday 16 January 2018

Scotland Yard assigns 30 detectives to Maddie case

The McCanns believe the move is a 'step in the right direction.' Photo: PA
The McCanns believe the move is a 'step in the right direction.' Photo: PA

Tim Ross in London

A TEAM of 30 detectives from Scotland Yard will be assigned to the search for missing Madeleine McCann in an investigation which could cost millions of pounds.

Some of the team will be officers who were due to retire or take voluntary redundancy, a police source said.

The details came as Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, defended Scotland Yard's decision to take up the case, insisting that Madeleine could still be found alive.

She went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3, 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday.

Portuguese police, helped by officers from Leicestershire police, carried out an extensive investigation into her disappearance but the official inquiry was suspended in July 2008.

Since then no police force has been actively looking for the child.

But last week, it was announced that Scotland Yard would reopen the search, a move that led to criticism that officers' valuable time would be diverted away from other cases.

Translation

One of the major difficulties -- and expenses that detectives will face is that much of the material in the investigation will require translation from Portuguese, the source said.

However, the commissioner insisted "there is always a chance" his detectives would find Madeleine alive.

The review, which will be funded by the Home Office, has already been described as "ludicrous" and prompted claims that it could undermine the independence of the force.

The announcement of the Met's involvement followed criticism of David Cameron from Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, who said that Mr Cameron had shown insufficient commitment to children.

Mr Cameron personally wrote to the McCanns to confirm the reopening of the investigation. The couple described the move as "a step in the right direction".

Irish Independent

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