Met accused of making Madeleine ‘special case’

Met accused of making Madeleine ‘special case’
27 May 2011
The Herald

Britain’s top policeman faced accusations yesterday that the Madeleine McCann case was getting unfair and special attention at Scotland Yard.

Sir Paul Stephenson denied claims his decision to agree to review the investigation into the girl’s disappearance could come at the cost of other inquiries.

The commissioner, appearing before members of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said additional funds from the Home Office to support examinations could help save jobs in the force’s homicide division.

Sir Paul was confronted over the review by London Assembly member Jenny Jones, of the Green Party. 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.”

The police chief said he jealously guarded his operational independence as he pointed to similar reviews which took place in the wake of the Soham murders and Jersey child abuse scandal.

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.

Sir Paul added that, as they are in the process of reducing costs, the review could “give us the opportunity of retaining some skilled people”.

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 Kate and Gerry dined with friends nearby.

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