McCann vanished in 2007
Metropolitan (Met) Police Commissioner Sir Paul
Stephenson has been questioned over the decision to review the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Concerns about the way the force decides which cases to
review were raised at a Metropolitan Police Association (MPA) meeting.
Sir Paul said it could receive requests on any case, even
those outside London.
The Met agreed to review Madeleine's case after a Home
Office request earlier this month.
Madeleine, whose family lives in Leicester, went missing
at the age of three while on holiday in Portugal in May 2007.
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.
When questioned on the matter Sir Paul said: "We would
consider, 'Can we add expertise and is that expertise unique or unusual
that we have that other people don't have?.
"Does our international reputation add value and, very
rigorously, if it's not within our locus then we do want to ensure that
there is the right amount of money coming in to make sure London doesn't
Campaigners and relatives of other lost and missing
children held a vigil outside City Hall ahead of the meeting.
London Assembly member Jenny Jones, who was one of those
who questioned Sir Paul, said: "A missing child is every parent's worst
nightmare and I have real sympathy for the many families in this
"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
"I don't know how they will justify to other families why
their missing children will not be getting exactly the same level of
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