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.