Is a child really worth £3.5 milion pounds?
"A special £3.5 million grant is being given to Scotland Yard to fund the Madeleine McCann inquiry. The Home Office cash will fund a team, led by an experienced detective, which is being set up in the next few days to carry out a review of the entire investigation. It will cover the cost of man hours, flights to Portugal, hotels, consultation fees from forensic firms and any other expenses. There will also be a hefty cost for translation work on the thousands of documents requested from Portuguese authorities."
What about all the other missing children? Every year in the UK, 140,000 children go missing - 383 children per day. A staggering amount, which includes parental abductions, runaways, criminal abductions and children who are lost and injured. Are the government willing to stump up £3.5 million to cases similar to the McCanns or do only special ones warrant the attention?
Kerry Needham thinks the government should help. I'm sure she would dearly love such an injection of cash into the search for her missing son, Ben.
"After the breaking news today I am happy to see the government's involvement with reviewing missing people cases abroad. I am pleased for the McCann family and look forward to the government offering the same support to all families with loved ones missing abroad." Kerry Needham, May 2011
What makes this case so special? Has anyone taken any notice of the police files and are they really up to speed with Portuguese law? The McCanns could have prevented the case being shelved in the first place and they could request the case be reopened today. This could be done for free, thereby saving the UK taxpayer a bucketload.
"If they wanted the case to be reviewed, they would ask for the crime process and the investigation to be reopened, and they would supply all of the reports from the various private detectives that they have hired. To ask for the process to be reopened, all it would take is a letter to the Prosecutor, as it has already happened in so many other cases. It costs them nothing, just the stamp on the letter." Goncalo Amaral May 2011
Amongst other things, the £3.5 million will be used for hotels, travel costs and the translation of documents requested from Portugal. Forgive me, I have deja vu... although I suppose it's heartwarming that the money won't be used for mortgage payments and that ever growing mountain of legal debts.
Instead of being cockahoop and jumping for joy at the news, Mr and Mrs McCann appeared to find it difficult to summon up much enthusiasm, but thought it was 'a step in the right direction'...
So, is a child worth £3.5 million? I would say yes, but so are all the other children. In this case though, just who is running the show because I don't believe the parents are worth it.
Please take a moment to visit the official campaign website to help find Ben Needham by clicking: