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Too busy with Madeleine McCann to help you! 3 May 2009

Original Source: SUNDAY MERCURY: 03 MAY 2009
May 3 2009 by Jane Tyler, Sunday Mercury
A CHARITY set up to provide help and support to relatives of missing people has refused to publicise cases – in favour of Madeleine McCann.

Today is the second anniversary of the Leicestershire youngster’s



In addition to the details of the six year-old’s disappearance, Missing People features a further 24 Midland cases on its website.

The Sunday Mercury contacted the charity, asking if they could help us to raise the profile of a local family suffering similar turmoil to the McCanns.

But they told us: “Sorry, we won’t help you.”

And they added that it would be “too time consuming” for its staff to do, and said they would prefer to keep the focus on Madeleine McCann this weekend.

Amazingly Missing People is still claiming that more needs to be done to help families whose loved ones disappear.

And the charity’s director of policy and research, Geoff Newiss, has issued another satement saying: “Two years on and Madeleine McCann’s disappearance from Praia da Luz continues to highlight the need for better services and support for families affected.

“Families like Madeleine McCann’s need more help with the emotional, social and practical impacts that occur when someone they love goes missing.”

“Madeleine is a vulnerable missing child. Her family are in the same desperate situation as the 1,000 other UK families the charity currently supports, all living in limbo.”


A Birmingham councillor has hit out at the charity’s snub and has vowed to raise the issue of missing city children.

Coun Reg Corns (Con, Northfield), said he will use his position as vice chairman of the children and education overview and scrutiny committee to highlight the problem.


He said it was all too easy for high profile national cases, such as Madeleine, to dominate the headlines.


“This results in local cases being brushed under the carpet,” he said.

“At one time there was a campaign to put the faces of missing children onto the side of milk cartons but that doesn’t seem to be happening any more.

“I am going to ask the question: how we are currently organising searching for missing children and what arrangements are in place?”

A spokeswoman for Missing People said: “While the charity continues to assist these families in their search for information, and to raise awareness with the public, Missing People has taken the decision not to contact other families with media enquiries in regards to Madeleine McCann’s specific campaign.


“The charity feels that doing so would not only take the focus from the individual missing person’s case, but we also feel it would be inappropriate that, while these families have to live with the pain of a loved one’s disappearance every day, the media only recognises the plights of these families on the anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.”


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