Met Comissioner: Madeleine McCann investigation could end soon
Unknown caller - Hi, hi, good morning, my question is regarding to Madeleine McCann...
Nick Ferrari (host) - Oh yes.
Unknown caller - ...what chances can we find this girl?
Nick Ferrari - This is I think another additional 95,000 pounds that has been earmarked by the Home Office, I think, for Scotland Yard Sir Bernard, and that would mean around six months the investigations can continue.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Yeah, Michael (the caller) as you know there's been a lot of investigation time spent on this is, it's a terrible case isn't it, it's a child who went missing and everybody wants to know if she is alive if she is, where is she, and if suddenly she is dead then we need to give some comfort to the family, so it needed us to carry out an investigation together with the Portuguese and other countries have been involved and there is a line of inquiry that remains to be concluded and it's expected in the coming months that will happen. The size of the teams came down radically, I think we're now down to two or three people in that team, at one stage was about 30 officers in it, ahm, essentially it's a Portuguese inquiry...
Nick Ferrari - What do thirty people do all day Commissioner?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, the first steps they had to do was to actually review and look at all the things the Portuguese had done, to see whether or not there was anything we could offer that, you know, might help with that investigation, had they missed anything, now we do that for ourselves and the Portuguese review. So we thought, well, we were asked by the Prime Minister before I arrived, to see whether or not there was anything we could do to help that investigation. Our review...
Nick Ferrari - It takes thirty officers?!
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, err, yep, but just bear in mind what happened there, so you got thousands of pages, I went in to one of our police stations back in 2011 and there was a whole room full of documents that this inquiry had produced, you know, from the hundreds of witnesses statements, to all every card they checked out, from all, you know, these inquiries for those who don't get involved in them don't realize just what they generate, huge amounts of material, and of course, these all have to be translated.
Nick Ferrari - Yes.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - This didn't start out in English.
Nick Ferrari - Sure.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - They were translated into English.
Nick Ferrari - Have you moved forward in any way?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - I, well, that's what I'm indicating, is that first of all we had to extinguish the possibilities that existed in terms of inquiry, I think some of those have been stopped and there is a line of inquiry I think is, well, everybody agrees, is worthwhile pursuing.
Nick Ferrari - How long will this go on? When will you finally be prepared to stand down operation, I think it's Operation Grange, isn't it?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, really at the moment it will be the conclusion of this line of inquiry, unless something else comes up.
Nick Ferrari - So, you'd spend more money, again? Another 95,000 pound?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, if somebody comes to me, if somebody comes forward and gives good evidence we'll follow it.
Nick Ferrari - Yes.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - We always say that, ahm, you know, a missing child inquiry is never closed.
Nick Ferrari - Yes, but there are a hundred eighty-seven missing children in Britain, not all fortunately of the circumstances of Madeleine McCann. How come this one attracts so much attention and indeed funding?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, of course, you know, this was a decision of the government, that in this case they wanted to fund the Metropolitan Police to make this inquiry. If you remember, of course, this poor girl came from Leicestershire area, and was obviously aboard in Portugal at the time. So, we went, the Home Office, the government asked the Met to get involved and we have done our best as anybody humanly can, to try and find this girl, and that's surely the thing that drives us all. Newspapers have got involved, private investigators got involved..
Nick Ferrari - So, you don't see any standing down in the near future of Operation Grange?
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe - Well, I thought it was clear(?), which is first of all, the line of inquiry that is being pursued, that obviously is important, it's important in the coming months that is resolved and I think it will be, if something new comes forward of course we'll investigate it, but that line of inquiry probably is, at the moment, is the conclusion of this inquiry.
broadcast by LBC radio, April 26, 2016