McCann on holiday in Portugal in 2007
BRITAIN’S top policeman has agreed to join the hunt for Madeleine McCann
because he believes she may still be alive, he revealed yesterday.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson defended his
decision to reopen the case, insisting there was “always a chance” it
could lead to Madeleine being reunited with her parents.
had branded the new investigation a “ludicrous” waste of money which
would tie up police resources while denying justice to other victims of
Paul agreed to carry out a review following a request from David
Prime Minister stepped in after a heartfelt plea from Madeleine’s
parents, Kate and Gerry McCann from Rothley, Leics.
formal request was made to the police chief by Home Secretary Theresa
May who pledged the operation would be funded by the Government.
radio interview Sir Paul yesterday said it was not unique for his
officers to be called in to assist with difficult to solve cases abroad.
always a chance. When you receive a request, supported by
the Prime Minister, from the Home Secretary, you take that
Sir Paul Stephenson
highlighted the murders of British honeymooners Ben and Catherine
Mullany in Antigua in 2008. A team of detectives flew to the Caribbean
island to help bring the couple’s killers to justice.
Paul said: “There is always a chance. When you receive a request,
supported by the Prime Minister, from the Home Secretary, you take that
“This is not unique. On balance, I think it was the right thing to do.
We do review these sort of cases and I think there may be some benefit
admitted some trails will have gone cold. But he added: “We will lend
our expertise, with the Portuguese authorities staying in the lead. It
will go to our homicide team and people who are used to doing reviews.”
Paul said senior officers had already started work and would go through
all documents in the case.
review is being led by cold case expert Detective Chief Inspector Andy
Redwood from the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
McCanns have welcomed the review.
Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz,
Portugal, on May 3, 2007, just days before her fourth birthday.
couple claim vital clues were missed during a shambolic investigation by
Portuguese detectives, which was shelved in 2008. Since then, no police
force has been actively looking for Madeleine.
week Metropolitan Police Authority member Jenny Jones said: “It is
ludicrous. This could take years and will cost millions. It is very
unusual for police to step in like this and it is not an appropriate use
of police resources.”