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 Photo: AP
Stephenson has previously denied that Scotland Yard was forced to
investigate the case by the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Commissioner also faced accusations today that the Madeleine McCann case
was getting "unfair" and "special" attention at Scotland Yard.
he denied that his decision to agree to review the investigation into
the girl's disappearance could come at the cost of other inquiries.
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?”
Paul replied: "I do not take your point." He added that other cases of
missing people in London were reviewed every two years.
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.
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.
is not an open cheque and it is not going to go on forever," he added.