Metropolitan Police faces quiz over McCann review
London Assembly member Jenny Jones will raise the issue at the Metropolitan Police Association (MPA) meeting later.
She will ask about the allocation of resources for specific cases of children who have disappeared.
Campaigners and relatives of other lost and missing children will hold a vigil outside City Hall ahead of the meeting.
Madeleine, whose family live in Leicester, went missing at the age of three while on holiday in Portugal in May 2007.
Earlier this month the Home Office said Scotland Yard would bring their "bring their expertise" to the search for Madeleine.
But campaigners have raised concerns that this has happened at a time when police resources are stretched and the Forensic Science Service is due to close.
At the meeting Ms Jones will ask: "This review was requested by the prime minister and home secretary. Is your understanding that in future an elected police and crime commissioner would be able to request that the Met investigate specific cases in this way?"
She said: "A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare and I have real sympathy for the many families in this position.
"Because of the prime minister's request to review the Madeleine McCann case, the Met police will be using a lot of time and resources to focus on one particular case, outside of their jurisdiction.
"I don't know how they will justify to other families why their missing children will not be getting exactly the same level of attention."
A Met spokesman said the review was being carried out at the request of the Home Secretary.
He said: "The commissioner has considered the request and the review will be carried out subject to funding being made available by the Home Office as the case is beyond the Metropolitan Police Service's jurisdiction."
in BBC, May 26 2011
Vigil for missing children outside City Hall as Metropolitan Police Authority meets
The Metropolitan Police Authority meets tomorrow at City Hall for the first time since the Prime Minister
instructed/encouraged/invited/asked the Commissioner to consider a review of the Madeleine McCann case. And outside there will be a vigil to remember all missing children attended by relatives and campaigners. Several MPA members (including Jenny Jones AM and Jennette Arnold AM) have already announced they will be joining them.
I am sure that those campaigners and relatives will be asking whether the cases in which they are concerned can be reviewed by the Metropolitan Police in the same way that the Madeleine McCann case is to be. And this is hardly surprising.
The Commissioner will no doubt tonight be polishing up his answers as to why he made the operational decision (
without being pressurised by a politician, of course) that the McCann case should be reviewed and whether the same factors will apply to the other cases.
He will also no doubt remind the Authority that the Home Office has offered to pay for the costs of the investigation. This is, I am sure, a welcome contribution to the Met’s budget, but will this cover only the additional costs of the investigation or will it cover the costs of the salaries of the detectives engaged in the review and, if so, where will the replacement detectives be found to cover the work that those detectives would otherwise have done?
And was this offer of financial assistance a factor in the operational decision that the Commissioner made to have this review? And, if it was a factor, does the offer to pay guarantee anyone else a Metropolitan Police case review? Might be a nice little earner.
I am sure the Commissioner has also given thought to what will happen after the review has been concluded. Will the review be shared with the McCann’s? And, if not, what is the purpose of the review? I am confident that all will be made clear tomorrow.
in Lord Toby Harris blog, published May 25, 2011
External link: MPA Committee: 26 May 2011, Webcast Archive
«(...)The Commissioner has stressed that he made the decision and there was no political interference from David Cameron.
Yesterday, under questioning from Metropolitan Police Authority members, he detailed his reasoning for taking on the investigation.
Sir Paul said that one of the reasons is the number of murders in London – which has fallen to 124 in 2011 from 172 per year in 2006.
He explained that it meant there is now no need for 24 murder teams across the capital and the number will be reduced in the next nine months, leaving experienced detectives free to take on the McCann case. (...)
(...)Sir Paul reiterated that the McCann review will not cost the Metropolitan Police. 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.»
in The Telegraph, May 26 2011
«(...)"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 people".(...)»
in Lutterworth Mail, May 26, 2011