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Kate McCann calls on MPs to support families of missing

Original Source:  SUN: MONDAY 13 JUNE 2011
STAFF REPORTER  Published: Today

MADELEINE McCann's mother today pleaded with the Government to protect the families of missing people.

Kate McCann said there was "currently no legislation to protect missing people and their families left behind".

She joined other mothers of vanished children outside the Commons as she talked about the lack of emotional support available.


The 43-year-old held up a picture of daughter Maddie, who disappeared from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth birthday.

She was speaking ahead of the first session of the parliamentary inquiry into support for families of missing people.

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".

Kate 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."

She added: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.

"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."

Kate issued her appeal as Scotland Yard continues its review of the investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.


Last month, Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a highly-personal book about Maddie's disappearance in a bid to revive efforts to find her daughter.

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

Grieving ... Kate McCann with Sarah Godwin, far left, and Nicki Durbin, right

Kate 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 May 20, 1992 - and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four years ago.

The three mothers all held images of their missing loved ones.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of 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


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