The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Met. Police Review / Kate Commons Inquiry*

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NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 
Discussion on the Met. review continues and Kate McCann gives evidence at a Commons inquiry organised by the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults.

Vigil for missing children outside City Hall as Metropolitan Police Authority meets, 25 May 2011
Vigil for missing children outside City Hall as Metropolitan Police Authority meets Lord Toby Harris blog

Lord Toby Harris blog header

Lord Toby Harris
Wednesday May 25,2011

The Metropolitan Police Authority meets tomorrow at City Hall for the first time since the Prime Minister instructed/encouraged/invited/asked the Commissioner to consider a review of the Madeleine McCann case. And outside there will be a vigil to remember all missing children attended by relatives and campaigners. Several MPA members (including Jenny Jones AM and Jennette Arnold AM) have already announced they will be joining them.

I am sure that those campaigners and relatives will be asking whether the cases in which they are concerned can be reviewed by the Metropolitan Police in the same way that the Madeleine McCann case is to be. And this is hardly surprising.

The Commissioner will no doubt tonight be polishing up his answers as to why he made the operational decision (without being pressurised by a politician, of course) that the McCann case should be reviewed and whether the same factors will apply to the other cases.

He will also no doubt remind the Authority that the Home Office has offered to pay for the costs of the investigation. This is, I am sure, a welcome contribution to the Met’s budget, but will this cover only the additional costs of the investigation or will it cover the costs of the salaries of the detectives engaged in the review and, if so, where will the replacement detectives be found to cover the work that those detectives would otherwise have done?

And was this offer of financial assistance a factor in the operational decision that the Commissioner made to have this review? And, if it was a factor, does the offer to pay guarantee anyone else a Metropolitan Police case review? Might be a nice little earner.

I am sure the Commissioner has also given thought to what will happen after the review has been concluded. Will the review be shared with the McCann’s? And, if not, what is the purpose of the review? I am confident that all will be made clear tomorrow.

Metropolitan Police faces quiz over McCann review, 26 May 2011
Metropolitan Police faces quiz over McCann review BBC News

Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007
Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007

26 May 2011 Last updated at 09:20

Metropolitan (Met) Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson will face questions following the decision to review the disappearance of Madeleine McCann

London Assembly member Jenny Jones will raise the issue at the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA) meeting later.

She will ask about the allocation of resources for specific cases of children who have disappeared.

Campaigners and relatives of other lost and missing children will hold a vigil outside City Hall ahead of the meeting.

Madeleine, whose family live in Leicester, went missing at the age of three while on holiday in Portugal in May 2007.

Outside jurisdiction

Earlier this month the Home Office said Scotland Yard would bring their "bring their expertise" to the search for Madeleine.

But campaigners have raised concerns that this has happened at a time when police resources are stretched and the Forensic Science Service is due to close.

At the meeting Ms Jones will ask: "This review was requested by the prime minister and home secretary. Is your understanding that in future an elected police and crime commissioner would be able to request that the Met investigate specific cases in this way?"

She said: "A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare and I have real sympathy for the many families in this position.

"Because of the prime minister's request to review the Madeleine McCann case, the Met police will be using a lot of time and resources to focus on one particular case, outside of their jurisdiction.

"I don't know how they will justify to other families why their missing children will not be getting exactly the same level of attention."

A Met spokesman said the review was being carried out at the request of the Home Secretary.

He said: "The commissioner has considered the request and the review will be carried out subject to funding being made available by the Home Office as the case is beyond the Metropolitan Police Service's jurisdiction."

Consultant from Kingston Hospital may be questioned in Madeleine McCann review, 26 May 2011
Consultant from Kingston Hospital may be questioned in Madeleine McCann review Radio Jackie

posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 12:29 PM

Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson is to face questions over missing Madeleine McCann.

The review will look closely at the moments before and after the 3 year old vanished.

It’s not yet clear whether members of the so called 'Tapas 9' will be asked to contribute information.

The name refers to the friends of Kate and Gerry who were dining with them on the night of the disappearance.

One of them, Dr Matthew Oldfield, a consultant at Kingston Hospital, was the last person to check on the McCann children that night.

He didn’t, however, check to see if Madeleine was in her bed.

Madeleine McCann: Met police chief quizzed over review, 26 May 2011
Madeleine McCann: Met police chief quizzed over review BBC News

Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007
Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007

26 May 2011 Last updated at 16:23

The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has been accused of giving "unfair" attention to the Madeleine McCann case following his decision to review it.

Madeleine, who lived in Leicester, disappeared aged three while on holiday with her family in Portugal in 2007.

The Met agreed to review the case after a Home Office request, but London Assembly member Jenny Jones has said this was unfair on other crime victims.

Sir Paul Stephenson said he was keen to ensure that London "doesn't suffer".

He told a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority the force could receive requests on any case, including those outside London.

Campaigners and relatives of other lost and missing children held a vigil outside City Hall ahead of the meeting.

'Worst nightmare'

The Home Office said Scotland Yard would "bring their expertise" to the search for Madeleine.

But campaigners have raised concerns that this has happened at a time when police resources are stretched and the Forensic Science Service is due to close.

Ms Jones told the meeting: "A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare and I have real sympathy for the many families in this position.

"Because of the prime minister's request to review the Madeleine McCann case, the Met Police will be using a lot of time and resources to focus on one particular case, outside of their jurisdiction."

Sir Paul said he "jealously guarded" the force's independence and Met officers had previously been involved with inquiries in the Soham murders and alleged child abuse in Jersey.

He said the force always considered whether its expertise was "unique or unusual" and if it would be adequately compensated for its officers working on other cases.

He added that the government would pay for the inquiry.

Later Ms Jones said: "I am just not convinced by the commissioner saying that he has extra resources that he can move around so that other victims will not have unfairly lost justice as a result."

A Met spokesman said the review was being carried out at the request of the Home Secretary.

He said: "The commissioner has considered the request and the review will be carried out subject to funding being made available by the Home Office as the case is beyond the Metropolitan Police Service's jurisdiction."

Sir Paul Stephenson: Falling murder rate allowed Maddy investigation to proceed, 26 May 2011
Sir Paul Stephenson: Falling murder rate allowed Maddy investigation to proceed The Telegraph

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan police yesterday revealed that he decided to take on the Madeleine McCann investigation because London's falling murder rate meant that he had detectives spare.

Sir Paul said that Scotland Yard's experience and expertise meant that they were the perfect force to lead a review into the Portuguese investigation in Madeleine's disappearance

By Mark Hughes, Crime Correspondent
6:51PM BST 26 May 2011

Sir Paul Stephenson has previously denied that Scotland Yard was forced to investigate the case by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary.

The Commissioner has stressed that he made the decision and there was no political interference from David Cameron.

Yesterday, under questioning from Metropolitan Police Authority members, he detailed his reasoning for taking on the investigation.

Sir Paul said that one of the reasons is the number of murders in London – which has fallen to 124 in 2011 from 172 per year in 2006.

He explained that it meant there is now no need for 24 murder teams across the capital and the number will be reduced in the next nine months, leaving experienced detectives free to take on the McCann case.

Sir Paul also said that Scotland Yard's experience and expertise meant that they were the perfect force to lead a review into the Portuguese investigation in Madeleine McCann's disappearance during a family holiday in 2007.

Explaining the decision, he said: "It is about expertise. It is about the fact that we do have the capacity and the capability because we have decided to reduce the murder investigation teams."

The Commissioner also faced accusations today that the Madeleine McCann case was getting "unfair" and "special" attention at Scotland Yard.

But he denied that his decision to agree to review the investigation into the girl's disappearance could come at the cost of other inquiries.

Sir Paul was confronted over the review by London Assembly member Jenny Jones. Speaking at City Hall, she said she sympathised with the McCann family but asked him: "Why is this a special case?"

Sir Paul replied: "I do not take your point." He added that other cases of missing people in London were reviewed every two years.

And he denied that it was unusual for the force to get involved in cases outside of its London jurisdiction, listing a number of cases including the Soham murders, the Jersey Child abuse case and the disappearance of Ben Needham, who vanished on a family holiday in Kos in 1991.

Sir Paul reiterated that the McCann review will not cost the Metropolitan Police. The Government will reimburse the Met on a quarterly basis as the review goes on, he said.

"It is not an open cheque and it is not going to go on forever," he added.

Madeleine McCann: House of Lords Written Answers, 09 June 2011
Madeleine McCann: House of Lords Written Answers www.parliament.uk

09 June 2011

Madeleine McCann

Questions
Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated cost of the police review of the Madeleine McCann case; where its funding will come from; whether arrangements for the review were discussed with the government of Portugal; and what assessment they have made of the possibility of the discovery of valuable new leads in relation to the disappearance.[HL9314]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Since Madeleine McCann's disappearance, the Government have continued to liaise with the Portuguese authorities, and the police here have followed up any leads and passed information to the Portuguese as appropriate. The involvement of the Metropolitan Police Service is part of that continuing UK contribution to the search for Madeleine.

The nature and scope of the work that the Metropolitan Police Service is undertaking will depend on its officers' operational assessment of how best their expertise might be used in progressing the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. That assessment is at an early stage and it is therefore not possible to estimate the likely costs, but the Home Office will provide necessary funding, which will be subject to regular review.
Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the Prime Minister's intervention in the Madeleine McCann case, whether they will make periodic reports to Parliament on the level of resources and costs to United Kingdom police forces of their investigation of the case.[HL9452]
Baroness Browning: The Home Secretary's request to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, supported by the Prime Minister, asking that the Metropolitan Police bring its expertise to the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is based on the sincere hope that Madeleine is still alive. While that operational work continues it would be inappropriate to give what, in effect, would be a partial running commentary on its progress. The Home Secretary will, however, make available the total central funding provided to the Metropolitan Police to cover the costs of the operation when the work is completed.

Crime minister defends costs of new search for Madeleine McCann, 12 June 2011
Crime minister defends costs of new search for Madeleine McCann The People

Nigel Nelson
Jun 12 2011

CRIME minister Angela Browning has defended the cost of the police hunt for Madeleine McCann.

She says PM David Cameron backed a new Met probe "based on the sincere hope that Madeleine is still alive."

But the minister refuses to reveal the exact cost of the investigation.

Peers pressed her for an estimate of public money being spent and demanded regular updates to Parliament on the investigation.

Baroness Browning said: "It would be inappropriate to give a running ­commentary on progress."

The cash will not come from the existing London policing budget and Home Secretary Theresa May will pay the extra.

"Funding will be subject to regular review," she told the Lords.

The PM stepped in after an emotional appeal by Madeleine's parents, Kate, 43, and Gerry, 42.

Maddie, of Rothley, Leics – who was abducted on a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007 – would now be eight years old.

Kate McCann in plea to MPs over missing loved ones, 13 June 2011
Kate McCann in plea to MPs over missing loved ones The Scotsman

By TRISTAN STEWART-ROBERTSON
Last Updated: 12 June 2011 11:45 PM
Published Date: 13 June 2011

Families of missing people are left with "unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry" when their loved ones go missing and need more support, Kate McCann will tell MPs today.

Ms McCann, whose daughter Madeleine, below, went missing four years ago from a holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday, will join other mothers of missing children as she talks about the lack of emotional support available to families.

She will help explain the current state of support for families, saying they should be spared "the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy".

"When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry," she will say.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults, said the MPs were examining what "emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time".

She said: "When a child or vulnerable adult goes missing the families left behind are absolutely devastated. Often the families feel isolated and alone."

Ms McCann, 43, will give evidence as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on 3 May, 2007.

Last month, Ms McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a book about Madeleine's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was formally closed in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

Ms McCann will be joined by Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on 20 May, 1992.

Ms Godwin said: "There are not the right words to explain how this emotional journey has evolved; it's been a long, slow and lonely task but after so many years I can usually keep painful emotions in a fairly secure part of me.

"I can now talk more freely about Q and our story and I can start to work with others in similar situations, although this interaction is both cathartic and difficult.

"I have learnt to gradually pull myself out of the emotional hole, accept the possibility of never seeing Q again, and accept the knowledge that I might never know the facts of his life or death. I have to honour his life whilst living with his and our loss."

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People, said there was not enough support for families with missing children.

He said: "As it stands, if your house is burgled you are automatically offered emotional, practical and legal support. If your child goes missing you may get nothing.

"From dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for their clients going missing."

The MPs will also hear from Peter Davies, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre and Home Office Minister James Brokenshire.

Vanished but not forgotten

CHEF Claudia Lawrence, 35, went missing on 18 March, 2009, from Melrosegate, Heworth, York. She sent a text message that night and was reported missing after she did not arrive for work the next morning. Claudia's father, Peter, gave evidence to the parliamentary inquiry in March.

Genette Tate was a 13-year-old newspaper delivery girl when she went missing from her home village of Aylesbeare, east Devon. It is thought she vanished shortly before 3:30pm on 19 August, 1978, only minutes after she had been speaking to two friends.

Andrew MacRae, three, went missing with his mother Renee on 12 November, 1976. After leaving her home in Cradlehall, Inverness, Renee dropped off her son Gordon, nine, at her estranged husband's house and drove towards Perth to visit her sister. They were never seen again.

McCann plea for more family support, 13 June 2011
McCann plea for more family support Belfast Telegraph

Kate McCann will tell MPs about the heartache that families of missing children have to endure

Monday, 13 June 2011

Families of missing people are left with "unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry" when their loved ones go missing and need more support, Kate McCann will tell MPs.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve region of Portugal shortly before her fourth birthday, will join other mothers of missing children as she talks about the lack of emotional support available to families.

She will help explain the current state of support for families, saying they should be spared "the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy".

"When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry," she will say.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, said the MPs were examining what "emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time".

"When a child or vulnerable adult goes missing the families left behind are absolutely devastated," she said.

"Often the families feel isolated and alone."

Mrs McCann, 43, will give evidence as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Last month, Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a highly-personal book about Madeleine's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

Families of missing people to call for more support, 13 June 2011
Families of missing people to call for more support BBC News

Kate McCann will be among the mothers of missing children to give evidence at the inquiry

13 June 2011 Last updated at 09:32

The government is being urged to improve support for the "heartbroken" families of people who go missing.

The UK's first parliamentary inquiry into the issue will look at what campaigners say is a "complete gap" in help for those affected.

Among those giving evidence later will be three mothers of missing children, including Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared abroad in 2007.

The inquiry will make recommendations to the coalition government.

As well as Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, the inquiry will hear from mothers Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job in 1992, and Nicki Durbin.

Ms Godwin said her son could be anywhere, but has strong roots with England because she is from England and he was very close to her English parents, who have since died.

'Living nightmare'

She told the BBC: "I think it's the connectivity that's really important for the families, or people who are struggling with a missing relative, not to have to search around and work out who to talk to."

She said Quentin had left behind a letter which could be read as a suicide note, and the police stepped in and did "as much as they could".

"It just takes over your life, it becomes an all-absorbing and all-engrossing area of your life," she said.

Ms Godwin says dealing with a missing relative "takes over your life"

"You're driving down the road and you're looking at people walking up the street to see if you can see their faces, but it's the long-term that's really the hard road."

She said that, when she meets other parents as the inquiry later on Monday, it will be her first face-to-face encounter with someone in the same situation.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine was three went she went missing during a family holiday in Portugal, will tell the inquiry: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Ms Durbin, whose son Luke disappeared after a night out in Ipswich five years ago, said: "It sounds like such a cliche, but it is a living nightmare. Personally, there isn't an hour of a day that goes by without me thinking about Luke.

"If my house was burgled, I would have got support. And that would have obviously been emotional support, legal support. When I reported Luke missing, there was nothing. And there still isn't anything."

She has been backed by the charity Missing People, which says that after 48 hours relatives should be given support similar to that given to the victims of serious crime.

This includes a dedicated police officer as well as emotional and practical advice.

Chief executive Martin Houghton-Brown said all families of missing people are immediately "plunged into emotional distress".

"But if the person going missing is also earning money for the family, they may be placed in financial or legal difficulties as well," he told the BBC.

He said that, where police investigations go on for weeks or months, families needed to be kept in touch with a "constant drip" of information.

MPs at the inquiry will also hear from Peter Davies, the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), and Home Office Minister James Brokenshire.

Registering deaths

Peter Lawrence, father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence, will give evidence later in the week along with Rachel Elias, the sister of missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards.

The inquiry will also consider calls to make it easier to register the death of a missing person whose body has not been found. This is in order to sort out their financial and legal affairs.

Courts can be asked to declare someone dead after seven years, although in England and Wales it is not statutory.

Ms Elias, whose brother Richey Edwards went missing in a high-profile case in 1995, says getting a missing person declared dead is too complicated.

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There were no advisory organisations out there to help us to know what to expect.

"Our solicitor was very good but it was in fact the first time that he had done it. It was difficult enough for us, and for families who have wider issues to deal with, such as dissolving a marriage or dealing with joint assets, it's an even more difficult process."

The inquiry will examine whether a new system is needed for the national database of unidentified bodies - currently totalling 1,000 - to match these details with information about missing people.

Organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, it will be held over four sessions.

----------

Original version:

Families of missing people to call for more support BBC News

13 June 2011 Last updated at 01:35

The government is being urged to improve support for the "heartbroken" families of people who go missing.

The UK's first parliamentary inquiry into the issue will look at what campaigners say is a "complete gap" in help for those affected.

Among those giving evidence later will be three mothers of missing children, including Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine disappeared abroad in 2007.

The inquiry will make recommendations to the coalition government.

As well as Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, the inquiry will hear from mothers Nicki Durbin and Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job in 1992.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine was three went she went missing during a family holiday in Portugal, will say: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

MPs will also hear from Peter Davies, the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), and Home Office Minister James Brokenshire.

Peter Lawrence, father of missing York chef Claudia Lawrence, will give evidence later in the week.

The charity Missing People says that after 48 hours relatives should be given support similar to that given to the victims of serious crime.

This includes a dedicated police officer as well as emotional and practical advice.

The inquiry will also consider calls to make it easier to register the death of a missing person whose body has not been found.

This is in order to sort out their financial and legal affairs.

Courts can be asked to declare someone dead after seven years, although in England and Wales it is not statutory.

The inquiry will examine whether a new system is needed for the national database of unidentified bodies - currently totalling 1,000 - to match these details with information about missing people.

The inquiry, organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, will be held over four sessions.

MP Ann Coffey, who chairs the group, said: "When a child or vulnerable adult goes missing, the families left behind are absolutely devastated. Often the families feel isolated and alone.

"This inquiry will examine what emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time."

Mother of Madeleine McCann backs Manchester charity in lost kids plea, 13 June 2011
Mother of Madeleine McCann backs Manchester charity in lost kids plea Manchester Evening News

'PEOPLE WILL LISTEN': Kate McCann will join Manchester charity Safe in the City in giving evidence to parliament

'PEOPLE WILL LISTEN': Kate McCann will join Manchester charity Safe in the City in giving evidence to parliament

Jennifer Williams
June 13, 2011


Kate McCann is joining a Manchester charity to highlight the plight of missing children and their families.

The mother of vanished tot Madeline McCann was today due to tell a cross-party committee of MPs what more could be done to help the relatives of runaways.

She was being joined by charity Safe in the City, which helps young runaways and their families in Manchester.

The parliamentary inquiry – the first of its kind – comes in the wake of a major M.E.N. investigation into missing children.

Stockport MP Ann Coffey, who is chairing the four-day hearing, was shocked by figures we uncovered showing more than 20,000 people were reported missing in Greater Manchester every year. More than half of those are children – with a large number coming from care homes.

Experts warn runaway and missing youngsters risk falling into the hands of organised criminals, including child sex rings and traffickers.

The inquiry was today looking at what can be done to help families when children disappear.

Later hearings will address the importance of collecting accurate figures on missing children and the risk they are at from sexual exploitation and paedophilia.

Ms Coffey said she was delighted to have so many high profile people giving evidence, including home office minister James Brokenshire.

She said: "It means we can have some confidence that the recommendations that come out of it will be carried forward."

MPs were due to ask Mrs McCann what more can be done to support families such as her own, which was devastated when three-year-old Madeline disappeared in 2007.

She has called the problem of missing children a ‘global crisis’ and is campaigning for more joined-up thinking on the issue.

Ms Coffey added: "People will listen to what she says."

Susie Ramsay, policy adviser at Safe in the City, said her charity was pushing for specific help for families, who often didn’t know where to turn when a child disappeared.

She said: "There’s a big gap there because a lot of families don’t really know what to do.

"It’s such a difficult time and children are in very dangerous and risky environments and it’s very difficult for families to deal with that."

McCann plea for help for families, 13 June 2011
McCann plea for help for families Belfast Telegraph

Kate McCann said there is currently no legislation to 'protect missing people and their families left behind'

Monday, 13 June 2011

Nothing protects the families of missing people left behind, Kate McCann has said.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday, joined other mothers of missing children as she talked about the lack of emotional support available to families.

Calling for the Government to show its support, Mrs McCann said there was "currently no legislation to protect missing people and their families left behind".

Speaking outside the Commons while holding up a picture of Madeleine, Mrs McCann said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.

"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

She went on: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry. In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Mrs McCann, 43, issued her appeal to the Government as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Last month, Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a highly personal book about Madeleine's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

Mrs McCann was joined by Sarah Godwin - whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on May 20, 1992 - and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago.

McCann In Plea For Families Of The Missing, 13 June 2011
McCann In Plea For Families Of The Missing Sky News

11:36am UK, Monday June 13, 2011

Kate McCann and the mothers of other missing children have asked MPs to make more support available to families.

Sky News video

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday flat in Portugal four years has spoken about the "unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt, and worry" when loved ones go missing.

She has called on the Government to improve support for families after speaking before the first parliamentary inquiry into the issue.

In a statement outside the House of Commons, Mrs McCann said relatives should be spared "the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy".

She said there was "currently no legislation to protect missing people and their families left behind".

Sarah Godwin (L), Kate McCann and Nicki Durbin (R)
Sarah Godwin (L), Kate McCann and Nicki Durbin (R)

Holding a picture of Madeleine, she said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.

"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing.

"This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

The inquiry also heard from Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand in 1992, and Nicki Durbin, from Suffolk, whose son Luke disappeared in 2006, aged 19, following an evening at a nightclub in Ipswich.

Kate McCann told MPs she did not think it should be left to "grieving parents" to search for their child.

She added that this was compounded by a "lack of communication and information".

She recommended a single point of contact between the families of missing people and the police.

Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, said the MPs were examining what emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time.

Madeleine McCann disappeared on the Algarve in 2007
Madeleine McCann disappeared on the Algarve in 2007

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People, said: "From dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for their clients going missing.

"This inquiry is a landmark opportunity for parliamentarians to ensure that families are able to access the full range of support that they so desperately need."

Mrs McCann, 43, from Rothley, Leicestershire, will give evidence as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

::
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call the Samaritans for help on 08457 90 90 90.

Kate McCann: victims of burglary get better treatment than families of missing loved ones, 13 June 2011
Kate McCann: victims of burglary get better treatment than families of missing loved ones The Telegraph

10:27AM BST 13 Jun 2011

Kate McCann has claimed that burglary victims are treated better than the families of missing children.

Mrs McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday, joined other mothers of missing children as she talked about the lack of emotional support available to families.

She said that nothing protects the families of missing people left behind.

Calling for the Government to show its support, Mrs McCann said there was ''currently no legislation to protect missing people and their families left behind''.

Speaking outside the Commons while holding up a picture of Madeleine, Mrs McCann said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.

"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing.

"This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

She went on: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Mrs McCann, 43, issued her appeal to the Government as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Last month, Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a highly-personal book about Madeleine's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

Mrs McCann was joined by Sarah Godwin - whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on May 20, 1992 - and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago.

The three mothers, each holding images of their missing loved ones, faced the press ahead of the first session of the inquiry.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People, said: "From dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for their clients going missing.

"This inquiry is a landmark opportunity for parliamentarians to ensure that families are able to access the full range of support that they so desperately need."

Mrs McCann told the MPs she did not think it should be left to "grieving parents" to search for their child.

"I don't think this should be the role of grieving parents," she said.

Mrs McCann added that this was compounded by a "lack of communication and information".

Calling for a single point of contact between the families of missing people and the police, Mrs McCann said: "To be left in the dark when your child is missing and at risk is unbearable."

Human beings are not equipped to deal with such ordeals and more support is crucial if "families are to survive".

She went on: "Many people have been worn down by this process because it's absolutely relentless and exhausting."

But she added that now Scotland Yard was involved, "I feel the chances of her being found are improving".

Mrs McCann said that, despite being medically trained, she simply "could not function" when Madeleine went missing.

"It was the first time in my life when I felt out of control," she told the MPs.

Counselling had helped "to talk, to vocalise our fears and to challenge our fears", she said.

Ms Durbin also spoke of her "terror" at hearing about the discovery of a decapitated body on the local news, fearing it was her son, but not having anyone to call to find out more.

A point of contact with the police was crucial, she said.

Her son went missing after a night out in Ipswich in 1996, she told MPs.

Kate McCann: I needed help, I felt totally out of control, 13 June 2011
Kate McCann: I needed help, I felt totally out of control The Telegraph

The mother of Madeleine McCann describes how she needed expert psychological counselling to bring her back from the brink of an emotional breakdown.

Mrs McCann, 43, issued an appeal to MPs as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance Photo: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

By John Bingham
3:57PM BST 13 Jun 2011

Kate McCann told MPs that she felt "totally out of control" and "unable to function" in the days after the disappearance of her three-year-old daughter on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

Addressing members of a Commons committee investigating the handling of missing persons cases, Mrs McCann – a GP by profession – called for all parents in her position to be given psychological support.

She also hit out at officialdom for the "unbearable, bordering on inhumane" way she and her husband Gerry had been dealt with, being "left in the dark" about the progress of the search for daughter.

Burglary victims often received better support than parants of missing children, she added.

The couple had been forced to "fight, really fight" for the authorities to take up the search again after the case was shelved by Portuguese police three years ago, she added.

But she said that for the first time in four years she was optimistic about the prospects of finding Madeleine after Scotland Yard agreed to review the case.

In a wide-ranging hearing, two senior police officers also admitted there are failings in the way police handle missing persons cases.

It followed evidence from Mrs McCann and two other mothers who agreed that families were desperate for psychological support and were often left with no point of contact within the police at crucial moments.

Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago, told of her "terror" at hearing about the discovery of a decapitated body on the local news, fearing it was her son, but had no one to call find out more.

Mrs McCann told the committee that she had been lucky that her tour operator had flown a trained crisis counsellor out to help the couple.

"I can't overestimate how much of a difference that made, we are [both] medically trained but we couldn't function," she said.

"The sense of helplessness is overwhelming, it is an incredibly unpleasant sensation, it's hard to describe.

"Our counsellor helped me start taking control of things I could control.

"It was probably the first time in my life where I felt totally out of control."

She added: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.

"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing."

Assistant Chief Constable Phil Thompson of the Association of Chief Police Officers, told the hearing that guidance for police was "cluttered" and inaccessible and was "crying out" for a national strategy.

"That isn't work well enough and we have to do better," he admitted.

Chief Constable Nick Gargan, the chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), said: "There wouldn't be a police officer in this country who wouldn't change the way they deal with missing persons if they'd listened to the evidence session I've just listened to."

Families of Madeleine McCann and other missing children lobby MPs, 13 June 2011
Families of Madeleine McCann and other missing children lobby MPs The Guardian

Kate McCann tells parliamentary group that victims of burglary get more help than families whose children are missing

Kate McCann, the mother of missing Madeleine McCann (C) poses with parents of missing children Sarah Godwin (L) and Nicki Durbin (R) outside the Houses of Parliament on Monday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

Helen Carter
Monday 13 June 2011 21.12 BST

Madeleine McCann's mother has claimed some victims of burglaries can receive get more emotional, legal and practical support than families whose children are missing, who may get nothing. Giving evidence at a Commons inquiry organised by the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults, Kate McCann said the sense of helplessness felt by families was "overwhelming".

Despite her medical training, she simply "could not function" when her daughter, then almost four, went missing from their apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. "It was the first time in my life when I felt out of control." Counselling had helped "to talk, to vocalise our fears and to challenge our fears," she said.

McCann told the committee she did not think it should be left to grieving parents to search for their child, and she called for a single point of contact between families of the missing and police. "To be left in the dark when your child is missing and at risk is unbearable."

Human beings are not equipped to deal with such ordeals and more support is crucial if "families are to survive".

She went on: "Many people have been worn down by this process because it's absolutely relentless and exhausting."

But she added that now Scotland Yard is involved in her daughter's case: "I feel the chances of her being found are improving".

Speaking outside the Commons before the hearing, she said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance. If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

Last month McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a book about her daughter's disappearance, to renew efforts to find her.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

MPs heard how families often felt they as if they were being a nuisance to officers, and were often treated as if they were wasting police time, and were left in the dark by police.

Chief constable Nick Gargan, chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), said: "There wouldn't be a police officer in this country who wouldn't change the way they deal with missing persons if they'd listened to the evidence session I've just listened to."

Forces receive 356,000 reports relating to 200,000 missing people each year – the equivalent of one report every 90 seconds, Gargan said.

Up to 80% of those reported missing return home within 24 hours. But between eight and 35 people are found dead each week after being reported missing, he told the MPs.

Of those who went missing, 52% were male, 48% female and two in three were young people who were under 18, he said.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the charity Missing People, said: "From dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for their clients going missing.

"This inquiry is a landmark opportunity for parliamentarians to ensure that families are able to access the full range of support that they so desperately need."

He told the MPs that up to 20,000 families a year could benefit from the support provided by the Missing People charity, but many were unaware that that help was there.

Houghton-Brown called for police forces to let the families of missing people know that the charity was there and some support was available.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire, who also gave evidence to the inquiry, said: "We are acutely aware of the pain caused when a loved one goes missing and we are working hard to ensure the best arrangements are in place to support families.

"We continue to work closely with the voluntary sector, providing additional funding for the valuable work of the charity Missing People, which provides a lifeline to missing people and their families through its helpline and wider support services."

From next month, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency will take over responsibility for missing children, further improving the service that families of missing children receive, and providing further specialist support to police forces in missing children cases.

Kate McCann was joined by Sarah Godwin – whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on 20 May 1992; and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago.Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults, said the MPs were examining what emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time.

Kate McCann: We've now got new hope Maddie will be found, 14 June 2011
Kate McCann: We've now got new hope Maddie will be found Daily Express

Daily Express, 14 June 2011

By Anil Dawar
Tuesday June 14 2011


MISSING Madeleine McCann's parents have new hope of her being found thanks to Scotland Yard, her mother said yesterday.

During an emotional public appearance, Kate McCann said she was "incredibly grateful" to British police as she told of her trauma after her daughter vanished, saying she felt "totally out of control" and was only saved from breakdown by a counsellor.

The mother-of-three also hit out at Portuguese police for shelving the hunt for her young daughter.

Madeleine, who was just nine days short of her fourth birthday, vanished in Praia da Luz on the Portugese Algarve during a family holiday on May 3, 2007.

Kate, 43, said she and her husband Gerry should not have been left to carry on the search alone by Algarve detectives.

"I do not believe this should be the role of grieving parents. We have been very fortunate that we have had so much support from the public but we have had to fight and really fight to get the help that Madeleine needs most and can make a difference.

"Many people have been worn down by this process because it is absolutely relentless and exhausting.

"It's only now, four years on with the recent commitment by the government and the Met police to conduct a review, that we think chances of Madeleine being found are improving.

"And we are of course incredibly grateful," she added.

Kate told an official inquiry by MPs into the support offered to families of missing people that counselling and a single point of contact with police was vital for anyone trying to find a loved one.

With her voice shaking, the GP said she and her husband, a heart consultant, needed a specialist counsellor in the Algarve to keep their lives functioning.

"To be left in the dark when your child is missing like this is unbearable, bordering on the inhumane.

"I can vouch for this personally. Emotional and psychological support is essential. Somebody with experience in dealing with crises like this. Someone like that can also forearm and equip you to face potential problems that might arise in the future.

"I think it is of paramount importance." Recalling how a trauma counsellor flew to the Algarve to help the couple while they continued searching for their daughter, Kate said: "I can't overestimate how much of a difference that made.

"We are medically trained but we couldn't function.

"It helped us to function, to talk, to vocalise our fears, to challenge our fears.

"Our counsellor helped us to start taking control of things. It was probably the first time in my life I felt totally out of control. The sense of helplessness you feel is overwhelming."

With Kate at the inquiry were Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin was 18 when he disappeared in 1992 on his way to his after-school job in New Zealand, and Nicki Durbin, mother of Luke Durbin who vanished from an Ipswich nightclub five years ago at the age of 19.

Holding up a picture of Madeleine, Kate said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance. If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

She went on: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support.

"And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy." Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, recently published a book about Madeleine's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

She voiced her hopes of Madeleine being found as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation.

The Portuguese inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 but the McCanns have continued the search by using private detectives.

CEOP - Missing Children Lead, 01 July 2011
CEOP - Missing Children Lead My Child Contact

01 July 2011

From 1July 2011 the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre will take on the responsibility as lead agent for missing children in the UK.

CEOP will bring together the UK's first team of experts dedicated to searching for missing and abducted children. It is estimated that as many as 100 thousand children go missing in the UK each year.

Part of the role within the new initiative will be the development of expert training for professionals dealing in this difficult area of social work and policing.

There is an expectation that the organisation will take on high profile cases. In May 2011 the Prime Minister pledged support for the ongoing Madeleine McCann investigation and ordered detectives from the Met' to step-up their investigation. In fact, our source tells us that it will be the CEOP's responsibility to review and carry out the McCann Investigation.

Madeleine McCann Went Missing on 3rd May 2007

Madeleine McCann disappeared on the evening of Thursday, 3rd May 2007. She was on holiday with her parents and twin siblings in Portugal. The 4 year old went missing from an apartment, in the central area of the resort of Praia da Luza and has still not been found. Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have said that they left the children unsupervised in a ground floor bedroom while they ate at a restaurant a short distance away. The initial investigation by the Portuguese criminal investigation police, was based on the assumption that Madeleine had probably been abducted. After further investigation, the Police stated that there was a strong hypothesis that she might have died in her room, but could give no evidence to support this. During the investigation there were a number of unconfirmed claimed sightings of Madeleine in Portugal and elsewhere, and additional scientific evidence was obtained. The investigation involved the co-operation of the British and Portuguese police.

On 7th September 2007 the parents were named as suspects, but were allowed to fly back to the United Kingdom. They were subsequently cleared, on 21 July 2008.

If Madeleine is found living with a family and that the parents were unaware of the 'abduction' status of 'their' child it would follow that they could apply to an English court for contact to Madeleine. Obviously if such an application was accepted then a full report would be ordered and the reporting officer, in line with the 1989 Children Act, must take into account the child's wishes. Madeleine could well be saying that she wanted contact.

Four years on there is still no tangible evidence leading to Madeleine's whereabouts.

If you have any knowledge that may help please contact your local police or you can contact My Child Contact in anonymity here.

----------------

Missing Children UK

Madeleine McCann

Close up of Madeleine's eye

Name: Madeleine McCann

Gender:
Female

Nationality:
British

Date Missing:
Thursday 3rd May 2007
Madeleine has a blemish in her right eye's iris.
The Following pictures show Madeleine as she may be in 2011.

Madeleine as she may be in 2011

-------------------

Ceop to take the lead on services for missing children

By Janaki Mahadevan Wednesday, 25 May 2011

A team of experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) is to lead a national response to the issue of missing children, the government has announced.

Peter Davies: 'We will put into the hands of any investigation our collective specialism to reach rapid and effective conclusions'. Image: Ceop

From 1 July a dedicated team from the centre will be tasked with working with police, child protection bodies and non-governmental organisations to ensure suitable arrangements are in place to protect vulnerable children.

Making the announcement on International Missing Children’s Day, crime and security minister James Brokenshire said the group will also provide preventative support through products and training for children and professionals as well as operational support to local police forces.

"Around 230,000 missing children reports are made in the UK every year," he said. "The risks children are exposed to are severe and the harm they suffer can be very serious so it is crucial we can act quickly. Ceop's new responsibility for national missing children's services means they can bring their significant child protection expertise to tackle this important issue."

Ceop will provide support to the police through resources such as the Child Rescue Alert system and the MissingKids website. It will also aim to ensure arrangements are in place to co-ordinate the collective response to complex cases of missing and abducted children.

Peter Davies, chief executive of Ceop, said: "Partnership will be our key theme. We will look to learn, analyse and contribute our expertise to the wider policing community; we will work with children and parents to raise awareness of the risks and the options and we will put into the hands of any investigation our collective specialism to reach rapid and effective conclusions.

"We will also work to ensure the causes of children going missing are understood and addressed after their return."

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of charity Missing People, said Ceop's new role will help ensure the safety of thousands of children.

"We are delighted that Ceop will be joining the frontline of services to help find and protect missing children," he said "Their expertise in safeguarding vulnerable children and extensive work in education will help to ensure the safety of thousands of young people."

Missing chef's dad calls for new law, 17 July 2011
Missing chef's dad calls for new law Sunday Express

Peter Lawrence with Claudia, who vanished in 2009.

By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday July 17,2011

THE father of chef Claudia Lawrence is hoping the Government will this week back his call to give the families of missing people greater support.

Solicitor Peter Lawrence will help present the findings of a Parliamentary inquiry at Downing Street tomorrow into the problems faced by the families of people who disappear.

Among those who gave evidence was Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine vanished in Portugal four years ago.

Mr Lawrence, 64, said it had been an "absolute nightmare" dealing with the disappearance of Claudia, 35, who vanished from York in March 2009.

As well as trying to find her, he also endured the heartbreaking task of sorting out her mortgage and other domestic matters.

Now he hopes the inquiry will result in a new law allowing families to appoint a trustee to deal with the affairs of missing people 90 days after they disappear.

Mr Lawrence told the Sunday Express: "There is a system in Australia which enables people to make an application to court when somebody has been missing for 90 days to act, in effect, as a trustee of that person's assets so you can deal with them. In this country now banks and building societies quite rightly say they have no right to deal with the families of missing people.

"This is a nightmare situation which affects thousands of people every year in this country."

The trustees would act only to preserve and manage assets and would not have the power to take money from the accounts of missing people. "I am hopeful there will be new law after the recess," added Mr Lawrence.

In her evidence, Kate McCann told the inquiry: "If your house is burgled you are offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.

"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This inquiry has the potential to change that."

Scotland Yard detectives told to review Madeleine's case by Prime Minister David Cameron have met her parents.

Doctors Kate and Gerry, both 43, are convinced that it is only a matter of time before they get a breakthrough. Their private investigators, headed by former Detective Inspector David Edgar, have also met the team.

A source close to the family said yesterday: "Kate and Gerry have had several meetings with police reviewing their daughter's case over the past month. They are relieved that something is finally happening."

Madeleine Cops In Portugal, 08 September 2011
Madeleine Cops In Portugal Sky News blogs

Kate and Gerry McCann

Martin Brunt
September 08, 2011 11:32 AM

They may not have welcomed the order from Downing Street to launch an investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, but at least Scotland Yard detectives have made a first visit to Portugual.

I can't imagine they were given a warm welcome by their Portuguese colleagues whose work (failure to solve the mystery) the Met team is reviewing.

Still, it's a step in the right direction and officially the two groups met "with very good co-operation and liaison will continue."

There are 30 Met officers - the equivalent of a murder squad - working on the review and I'm told that a senior officer is having to give regular spending updates to the Home Office which is funding an operation that will cost several millions and last many months.

It's four months since the review was launched with great fanfare by the Prime Minister after a plea from Kate and Gerry McCann.

The couple had long felt abandoned by the British and Portuguese authorities to hunt alone for their missing daughter.

But it's difficult to get much information about the operation from the cops, No 10 or the Home Office.

A recent Freedom of Information request for answers to a dozen of so questions has been held up by the Yard's FOI man while he considers if the info sought is in the public interest.

Madeleine police in Portugal talks, 08 September 2011
Madeleine police in Portugal talks The Press Association

(UKPA) - 08 September 2011

British detectives reviewing the search for Madeleine McCann have travelled to Portugal for "formal" meetings with authorities.

Scotland Yard said its officers have conducted their first face-to-face discussions with police chiefs who led the massive hunt after the youngster vanished.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "MPS officers travelled to Portugal at the beginning of August and had their first formal meeting with Portuguese authorities to discuss ways to progress the investigative review."

Portuguese detectives' investigation - helped by officers from Leicestershire Police - into her disappearance prompted appeals for help across the world.

But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been actively looking for the missing child, who would now be eight.

The Met launched a review of the original investigation in May after a request from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Hundreds of possible sightings of the girl have been reported around the world since she went missing, but so far they have all come to nothing.

English Police were in Portugal to discuss the investigation of the Maddie case, 08 September 2011
English Police were in Portugal to discuss the investigation of the Maddie case SIC Notícias

Gerry and Kate McCann

Lusa
08.09.2011 21:23
With thanks to Joana Morais for translation

Officers from Scotland Yard were in Portugal, last August, to discuss with Portuguese authorities the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann; this was confirmed today by an official source in London, however the PJ and the PGR [Attorney General's Office] state they know nothing about this information.

"They were in Portugal in August and they met with the Portuguese police, but we are not going to disclose any information", said a spokesperson from the English police to Lusa news agency.

The help of the English police in the search for Madeleine McCann, who disappeared in Portugal in 2007, just days before completing four years of age, was ordered by the British Government in May this year.

The intervention of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, happened after [the publication of] an open letter from the parents of Madeleine McCann, Kate and Gerry, for an "independent review, full and transparent" of the investigation process.

The couple, who were eventually constituted as arguidos [formal suspects] by the Portuguese authorities in 2007, want all the information that was gathered by the Police of the two countries to be analysed.

The investigations done by the Portuguese Judiciary police (PJ) ended with the archiving of the process by the Attorney General's Office (PGR) in July 2008.

Contacted by Lusa news agency, both the PJ and the PGR did not confirm the information that officers from the Scotland Yard were in Portugal in August to discuss with the Portuguese authorities the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

An official source from the PJ said that information was "unknown", whilst the PGR, through its spokesperson stated that "we are not aware" of that alleged proceeding, adding that "in fact, nothing was requested nor communicated".

Thirty British police in new Madeleine McCann hunt, 09 September 2011
Thirty British police in new Madeleine McCann hunt Daily Express

Daily Express, 09 September 2011
By David Pilditch and Tracey Kandohla
Friday September 9 2011

A NEW investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was under way last night after senior Scotland Yard detectives flew to Portugal.

Officers from a 30-strong squad specially set up to revive the search for Madeleine McCann, who vanished four years ago, met Portuguese authorities for the first time.

The top secret talks took place last month but details emerged for the first time yesterday.

Last night Madeleine's devoted parents Kate and Gerry told how the development gave them fresh hope of a breakthrough in the hunt for their daughter. Heart specialist Gerry, 42, and former GP Kate, 43, were said to be "extremely pleased" the meeting had taken place.

It is the first time any international police force has been searching for Madeleine since the official Portuguese inquiry was shelved in July 2008. The couple's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said Kate and Gerry believed it was "a positive step in the right direction".

Madeleine disappeared during a family holiday in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

Scotland Yard confirmed its officers conducted their first face-to-face "formal meeting" with Portuguese police who led the hunt for her.

The McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, believe vital clues were missed and leads never followed up during the shambolic investigation.

The despairing couple were left to search for Madeleine by themselves and hired a team of private eyes.

They insisted they would never stop looking for Madeleine, who vanished days before her fourth birthday, and were given a huge boost when David Cameron stepped in to help following a personal appeal in May.

Mr Cameron told the couple Home Secretary Theresa May had ordered Scotland Yard to launch a new operation funded by the Government. They were tasked to carry out a review of the investigation from start to finish and bring a new perspective to the case.

Yesterday it was revealed the Yard team carrying out the new inquiry consists of 30 officers, the same size as a murder squad.

It is being led by Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, of the Met's Homicide and Serious Crime Command, who has been dubbed Britain's top cold case detective. The McCanns hope the renewed efforts could unearth a vital new clue in the four-year mystery.

Mr Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry are extremely pleased that the review is progressing. It is a positive step in the right direction."

The Portuguese detectives' investigation, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, led to hundreds of possible sightings of Madeleine across the world but so far all have come to nothing. A Scotland Yard spokesman said last night: "Officers from the Metropolitan Police travelled to Portugal at the beginning of August and had their first formal meeting with Portuguese authorities to discuss ways to progress the investigative review."

The McCanns met members of the London-based squad several times before the Portuguese meeting. A source close to the couple said: "They are relieved. Things are finally being done and Kate and Gerry are being kept informed of every move." The couple, who have six-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, are convinced it is only a matter of time before they get a significant breakthrough.

Their private investigators, headed by former Detective Inspector David Edgar, have also met the new team.

The family source said: "Kate and Gerry have had several meetings with police reviewing their daughter's case. They know the officers have a difficult task ahead but they feel positive. They have been told that if something has been missed they will find it. They are relieved that something is finally happening.

"Kate and Gerry believe potentially vital clues were missed in the botched Portuguese investigation and their private eyes are hoping the Met will bring a new perspective to the case, which is being conducted in tandem with Portuguese police. The review is still in its very early stages. Officers are busy going through everything from scratch and analysing it."

When the review was announced, Sir Paul Stephenson, the then Metropolitan Police Commissioner, insisted there was "always a chance" it could lead to Madeleine being safely reunited with her parents.

The review team has drawn expertise from Scotland Yard's specialist crime directorate.

More officers will be drafted in if new evidence is found, including scenes-of-crime experts and forensic scientists.

The team is currently sifting through 20,000 pages of evidence assembled by Portuguese detectives. They will review witness statements, make a fresh appeal for ­information and carefully re-check alibis.

A police source said: "They will be looking for something that has been overlooked or not developed which could lead to a fresh line of inquiry – a sighting, a tip-off, something that didn't ring bells at the time but could be vital."

Maddie 'unites' PJ and English police, 09 September 2011
Maddie 'unites' PJ and English police Correio da Manhã

Pedro do Carmo, deputy national director of the Judicial Police, received the British delegation to discuss the disappearance of Maddie
Pedro do Carmo, deputy national director of the Judicial Police, received the British delegation

Process: English Prime-Minister forces the review of all information

Three elite officers from the British investigative police, Scotland Yard, arrived discreetly in Lisbon earlier last month. And they followed immediately to a meeting that was scheduled at the Judiciary Police [PJ] headquarters - in order to "tune up the cooperation mechanisms" in the analyses of new leads in the Maddie case, this was confirmed to Correio da Manhã by Pedro do Carmo, the National joint director of the PJ.

By Henrique Machado
09 September 2011
With thanks to
Joana Morais for translation

The news was advanced yesterday by Sky News after this team, from the Scotland Yard, was created in May by the direct order of Prime Minister David Cameron; following an appeal made to him by Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of the young girl who disappeared in Praia da Luz, Lagos, on the night of May 3, 2007. The aim of the English investigators, who returned to London the following day is to comb thoroughly all the information and leads that were followed in the process - so they can suggest new steps to be taken to the PJ if appropriate.

The process is formally archived, "but it is the interest of PJ and of the Scotland Yard that we can, one day, get to the truth of the facts" of what happened in Praia da Luz, Pedro do Carmo adds. The head of the PJ, who chaired the meeting, advanced that it was a "constructive" meeting - ​​that united the British and elements of the PJ from Portimão, where the investigation unfolded.

It continues to arrive to the Portuguese and British police dozens of information, anonymous or not, about what could have happened to the English girl, with four years of age then, inside the apartment 5A of the Ocean Club. The majority concern the sightings in various places around the world, which have revealed themselves to be unfounded; others are more credible and have to be checked. Some point to kidnapping; others to the involvement of adults close to the child.

DAVID CAMERON GAVE IN TO THE COUPLE

The imposition of the British Prime Minister to the Scotland Yard, in May, at the time of the book launch, 'Madeleine', in the United Kingdom, which coincided with the eight birthday of the missing child's disappearance, caused controversy in England. It was seen by some as a populist measure, of a politician that gave a differential treatment to the McCann couple - who had characterized Cameron as a "devout father and family man", asking him for a "independent review and transparent of the process". The Prime Minister replied assuring them that he would commit the Scotland Yard to the case.

"THE ENGLISH HAVE EVIDENCE": Gonçalo Amaral, former investigator of the process

Correio da Manhã – What can the English police add to the investigation?

Gonçalo Amaral – The English can always present the conclusions to which they themselves arrived in 2007. Because they know, they have the evidence of what happened - they don't need to investigate anything. All this is now a mere 'show off'.

How can these meetings be justified now?

– Only in terms of the political image of the English Prime Minister. They are not coming here certainly to ask to consult a process, that they, from the first hour, have in England and fully translated in English...

Is this another media manoeuvre from the McCanns?

– I don't know, however, if the Scotland Yard is investigating and if they no longer pay their detectives, they can return the money from the book.

Kate McCann flies to Germany in hunt for missing Maddie , 11 September 2011
Kate McCann flies to Germany in hunt for missing Maddie Sunday Express

ate and Gerry are focusing their energy on a media blitz (Virgilio Rodrigues/AFP/Getty Images)

By James Murray
Sunday September 11,2011

KATE McCann flies to Germany this week to make a powerful television appeal for new witnesses to come forward as Scotland Yard detectives investigate fresh leads produced by her book about her daughter Madeleine's disappearance.

The intriguing developments come as German police intensify their investigation into a serial child killer, Martin Ney, who bears a resemblance to a man said to have been seen with a child in his arms shortly after Madeleine vanished.

Buoyed by the determination and resolve of the 30 strong team of Yard detectives, Kate and her husband Gerry are focusing their energy on a media blitz in Germany in the hope that their emotional appeals will produce key witnesses. On Thurdsay, they will fly to Hamburg to appear on the Reinhold Beckmann Show and will tell the popular presenter they believe German tourists who visit the Algarve each year may be able to unlock the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance from the resort town of Praia da Luz in May 2007 when she was approaching her fourth birthday.

A source said: "Kate and Gerry have felt for a long time that a German who visited the Algarve or who lives there knows something and they want to stir consciences."

Last week the couple undertook a round of interviews with German journalists at a hotel near their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

The German broadsheet newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung published an interview with the couple yesterday in which Kate revealed in her darker days she wishes the abductor had taken her instead of Madeleine.

"There are days in which I wished I was able to swap with Madeleine," she said, adding that the ordeal had made her marriage stronger.

"People are still looking out for Madeleine and that gives me hope. It is your child, you must go on."

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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