David Cameron has instructed the Metropolitan Police to
review the case of Madeleine McCann. This is in response to an
open letter in The Sun and is entirely predictable in terms of the
'pulling power' of News International on Government policy.
However, his intervention drives a coach and horses through
draft protocol issued by the Home Office designed to
preserve the operational independence of the Police which says:
'The operational independence of the police service, and
the decisions made by its operational leadership remain reserved to
the Office of Chief Constable and that Office alone.'
Whilst no-one doubts the desirability of doing what can
sensibly be done to find out what has happened to Madeleine McCann,
I can imagine that the senior leadership of the Metropolitan Police
are not exactly happy about this. It again embroils their
officers in a high profile investigation, where the chances of
success are unclear, and which will divert limited investigative
resources away from other matters.