The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Families of Madeleine McCann and other missing children lobby MPs

Original Source: GUARDIAN: MONDAY 13 JUNE 2011
Helen Carter, Monday 13 June 2011 21.12 BST

Kate McCann tells parliamentary group that victims of burglary get more help than families whose children are missing 

Kate McCann, the mother of missing Madeleine McCann (C) poses with parents of missing children Sarah Godwin (L) and Nicki Durbin (R) outside the Houses of Parliament on Monday. Photograph: Ben Stansall/Getty Images

Madeleine McCann's mother has claimed some victims of burglaries can receive get more emotional, legal and practical support than families whose children are missing, who may get nothing. Giving evidence at a Commons inquiry organised by the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults, Kate McCann said the sense of helplessness felt by families was "overwhelming".

Despite her medical training, she simply "could not function" when her daughter, then almost four, went missing from their apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007. "It was the first time in my life when I felt out of control." Counselling had helped "to talk, to vocalise our fears and to challenge our fears," she said.

McCann told the committee she did not think it should be left to grieving parents to search for their child, and she called for a single point of contact between families of the missing and police. "To be left in the dark when your child is missing and at risk is unbearable."

Human beings are not equipped to deal with such ordeals and more support is crucial if "families are to survive".

She went on: "Many people have been worn down by this process because it's absolutely relentless and exhausting."

But she added that now Scotland Yard is involved in her daughter's case: "I feel the chances of her being found are improving".

Speaking outside the Commons before the hearing, she said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance. If your child goes missing, you may get nothing. This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."

Last month McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a book about her daughter's disappearance, to renew efforts to find her.

The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

MPs heard how families often felt they as if they were being a nuisance to officers, and were often treated as if they were wasting police time, and were left in the dark by police.

Chief constable Nick Gargan, chief executive of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), said: "There wouldn't be a police officer in this country who wouldn't change the way they deal with missing persons if they'd listened to the evidence session I've just listened to."

Forces receive 356,000 reports relating to 200,000 missing people each year ? the equivalent of one report every 90 seconds, Gargan said.

Up to 80% of those reported missing return home within 24 hours. But between eight and 35 people are found dead each week after being reported missing, he told the MPs.

Of those who went missing, 52% were male, 48% female and two in three were young people who were under 18, he said.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of the charity Missing People, said: "From dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for their clients going missing.

"This inquiry is a landmark opportunity for parliamentarians to ensure that families are able to access the full range of support that they so desperately need."

He told the MPs that up to 20,000 families a year could benefit from the support provided by the Missing People charity, but many were unaware that that help was there

Houghton-Brown called for police forces to let the families of missing people know that the charity was there and some support was available.

Home Office minister James Brokenshire, who also gave evidence to the inquiry, said: "We are acutely aware of the pain caused when a loved one goes missing and we are working hard to ensure the best arrangements are in place to support families.

"We continue to work closely with the voluntary sector, providing additional funding for the valuable work of the charity Missing People, which provides a lifeline to missing people and their families through its helpline and wider support services."

From next month, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency will take over responsibility for missing children, further improving the service that families of missing children receive, and providing further specialist support to police forces in missing children cases.

Kate McCann was joined by Sarah Godwin ? whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on 20 May 1992; and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago.Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children and adults, said the MPs were examining what emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them cope at such a traumatic time


Site Policy Contact details Sitemap Website created by Pamalam