Hunt for Madeleine McCann will continue even though the department is strapped for cash, says Met Police commissioner
Metropolitan Police commissioner came out in support of the long-running inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine and said it would continue until it has reached its conclusion.
The disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann from her parents' room during their vacation in the Algarve region of Portugal in 2007 sparked what has been dubbed as "the most heavily reported missing-person case in modern history." Scotland Yard's inquiry into the disappearance, 'Operation Grange,' has accrued costs totaling around £11.75 million ($14.91 million) in taxpayer money since its launch in 2011 and was given a further boost of £150,000 by the Home Office in November, though leads of Madeleine's whereabouts remain scarce.
There has been mounting public criticism at the several million pounds spent in the case. The police federation and some former Met officers have argued the money would find better use in tackling London's record number of homicides, knife crime, and acid attacks.
The mother of 14-year-old Charlene Downs, who went missing in 2003, was another to come out against the move, asking why the same attention was not being given to the thousands of other children who go missing every year. But it seems as though Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, have at least one important authority figure on their side.
According to the Daily Star, Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick came out in support of Operation Grange and said the long-running inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance "would be right to continue until it has reached its conclusion."
When the investigation was launched, Dick was still an assistant commissioner at the Met but said she supported Scotland Yard's decision to launch a probe into the mystery even though the organization seemed to have no jurisdiction in the area.
Dick said she understood why so many had come out against the investigation in recent times but asserted it was too important to shelve and did not set any time limit on it. "I was there when it was set up originally," she was quoted saying. "I remember when this piece of work was started and why. I was an AC at the time. I can understand why some people may feel differently but I think it is quite right that we should continue until it has reached its conclusion."
She also referred to the Met's determination to trace and bring justice to the perpetrators behind the poisoning of Salisbury spy Sergei Skripal, saying, "We never give up in the Met. We never have. We never forget."
The Daily Mail reports that since its launch seven years ago, officers involved in Operation Grange have sifted through and translated 40,000 documents produced by Portuguese police who initially conducted the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. Detectives have also examined around 600 "persons of interest" and looked into reports that suggested Madeleine had been spotted in countries such as Brazil, India, Morocco, Paraguay, and New Zealand.
Reports from last month which indicated Scotland Yard could be closing in on the culprits involved in Madeleine's disappearance based on two vital leads provided further encouragement to the McCanns. Speaking at a carol service on December 10 in London for missing people, Kate urged the parents of other missing children to "never give up" and said she always hopes "tomorrow is the day" her daughter finds her way back to her.