Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson denied the Madeleine McCann
case was getting 'special' attention at Scotland Yard
Britain's top policeman has faced accusations that the Madeleine McCann
case was getting "unfair" and "special" attention at Scotland Yard.
Sir Paul Stephenson denied claims that 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
Speaking at City Hall, 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 said that as they are in the process of reducing costs,
the review could "give us the opportunity of retaining some skilled
Speaking later, Ms Jones, of the Green Party, said she was angered by
the commissioner's response to her question. She said: "I am just not
convinced by the commissioner saying that he has extra resources that he
can move around so that other victims will not have unfairly lost
justice as a result."
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.