London's Metropolitan Police management has been urged to shelve the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, according to Police Federation chairman John Tully who told British tabloid the Daily Star today, “It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe.”
The Operation Grange team of 31 officers working exclusively on the Madeleine McCann case could be better used in fighting the war on terror on Britain’s home turf rather than continuing to spend money on the McCann inquiry which has cost an estimated £10 million to date, reckons Tully.
Operation Grange was set up to review the original Portuguese police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
The operation has involved dozens of trips to Portugal by British police but the investigation appears still to lack any indication, clues or evidence as to what happened to Madeleine McCann.
Tulley risked inflaming the McCann argument by calling for the 31 Metropolitan Police officers returned to duties relating to the UK, or in fact rather sklillfully talking of 'rumblings of discontent' from 'lots of sources' while not actually demanding the operation be closed down totally, but making it clear this is what now is wanted.
Police Federation chairman John Tulley told the newspaper, “It is time to re-focus on what we need to do to keep London safe. The Met has long been seen as the last resort for investigations others have struggled with elsewhere.
"We no longer have the resources to conduct specialist inquiries all over the world which have nothing to do with London.”
Tulley said that the Met already had been forced to make £600 million of cuts with 63 police stations closing in London, adding that he is responding to an increasing level of adverse comment about Operation Grange and the diversion of resources from London.
“When the force is facing a spike in murder investigations it is not surprising there is resentment of significant resources diverted to a case that has no apparent connection with London.”
Tulley later denied making a direct call for Operation Grange to be wound up but made it clear that the detectives working on the case would better serve the British taxpaying public by investigating London based crimes.
See Len Port's follow up report