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To think the Met spending £5 million on Maddie McCann is unfair on others who have missing children

(457 Posts)
Ilovemyself Thu 04-Jul-13 18:24:08

I know how retched I would feel if I were in the McCanns position, and would want no expense to be spared in the hunt for answers.

But I can't help but think that this case has been so high profile that other cases must have funding cut or not even be followed up as the budget is limited.

I honestly don't know what the answer is, but it does seem this case has benefitted in ways others wouldn't.

I feel bad for thinking its unfair on others, but just can't help wondering how other victims of serious crime feel.

snooky179 Sun 27-Oct-13 20:43:24

Doesn't it strike you as odd how high profile this has been? It's unprecedented. Every missing child needs to be found but never has any case been given this type of money/publicity. I think we should be asking why? I'm sure Ben Needham's mum would have welcomed even a fraction of the political involvement & money being spent on the search for her son. By the way, the majority of the money raised from public donations to the family has been spent on legal action against anyone questioning their version of events, which begs the question, why should public funds be used to fund a search already financed by public donations, rehashing evidence already explored by the Portuguese police.

SDhopeful Fri 20-Sep-13 17:23:10

What is puzzling is why it is the Met investigating. the disappearance happened in Portugal, not in the UK. No jurisdiction there for the British police. The McCs could have asked for the Portuguese police to re-open the case, if new evidence was found - don't see how it is a matter for the British police at all?.

janey68 Wed 10-Jul-13 22:09:58

I don't think we're going to agree on this if you fundamentally believe that the McCann case has been treated equally to other cases.

It is a very thorny topic, and difficult to use terminology like 'preferential treatment' (perhaps it sounds clumsy but i cant think of a better way to express it) because ultimately the mccanns are in an awful position, no one would envy them. But the fact that they are in this situation does not make them immune from what people believe to be valid criticism. Whatever anyone tries to say, this case has been personally championed by the PM, funded to a level far higher than that of other missing person cases, and given a public profile far in excess of other cases

And it's undeniable that the mccanns have been elevated to some sort of weird status whereby public forums were shut down simply through people stating factual information, if it didn't show the family in a positive light. Now that fact alone shows preferential treatment over other cases. I would concede that that aspect has improved: the fact that this thread hasn't been shut down is evidence of that, because I truly believe that a few years back , any posts which stated that the mccanns refused to take part in a reconstruction, would have been.

But yes, this is not about cases being handled differently because of investigative methods moving on; this is one case being elevated to a status and being funded way beyond other comparable cases

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 21:54:23

Is it preferential treatment though?

I'm not sure that it is. It could just be that things have moved on, I'm sure there are many areas where police will investigate a crime differently now compared to the way they would have investigated 20 years ago.

It doesn't have to be deliberately preferential just because its a better way of handling the case.

I would fully support any worthwhile review of cases of missing children, but I could do that without saying that the McCanns had it so everyone else should too.

janey68 Wed 10-Jul-13 18:41:31

Oh and as to your question about what happens now: no of course the £5 million follow up investigation can't be dropped. How can a police force possibly say 'well we've spent two years reviewing, and now we're going to ignore our findings. '

So, the mccann case will continue to get preferential treatment. There's no going back now is there?

And of course, we can all hope that there will be a resolution but after 6 years, when the new leads seem to be based on simply trying to track down these 38 people who were on holiday around that time, and trying to glean further information... Well, I will be hugely surprised if the case is resolved.

janey68 Wed 10-Jul-13 18:34:02

I said resources should be carved up equally in the first instance, as in 'all things being equal'. Obviously once leads are established then some cases will merit greater resources. The point about the McCann case is that there was never equity in the first place, because the new leads have only been established because of a 2 year review Which comparable cases haven't had. For all we know, there could be new witnesses and leads coming to light in other cases if they were given the publicity, money and time afforded to the McCann case

So no, of course I'm not suggesting that every case must have exactly the same resources invested regardless of the evidence- that would be daft. What I am saying is that the starting point should be equitable provision. Not resources based on how much the parents have been in the papers or whether the prime minister has got involved

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 18:07:14

But if you carve up resources equally as soon as something happens, then you end up with money being wasted on one case where there is little work left to do, and leads being ignored in other cases because investigators have chosen to follow other ones before the money has run out.

It's not about sharing resources equally, or at least it shouldn't be. It's about doing what needs to be done in each case and taking each case on its own merits.

I'm not dismissing the other cases at all, but if there is valuable work that could still be done in those cases than that should be highlighted and funded in its own right. It has nothing to do with the McCann case, it can be discussed without bringing Madeleine McCann into it.

I can see what you are saying Janey, but what do you think should happen now? Should the McCanns be told that they shouldn't have had the 2 year review, or be told that even though the review was done and there are leads they could follow that they are going to ignore them because we still don't know what happened to Ben Needham?

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Jul-13 18:03:36

I doubt anyone was "dismissing" those children. That isn't how read it.

I think we all need to remember that whilst this might provide some interesting debate material the subject in hand is of missing children.
The most precious loved ones of real people.
So important to be respectful.

janey68 Wed 10-Jul-13 17:54:47

"Maybe this case is getting extra resources because of all the media attention, but I don't see that as a bad thing "...

But surely resources should be carved up equally in the first instance, and then subsequently on the basis of viable leads and the likelihood of a resolution to the case? I think ploughing extra resource into a case because it is high profile in the media is hardly a rigorous or morally sound method of allocation. The fact is, if other comparable cases were given a 2 year long review such as this one, then they may well have thrown up new leads to follow. They just never had that chance that this one has.

And if you want to dismiss genette Tate and Ben Needham as being too long ago, then look to the more recent cases such as Daniel entwistle which is highly comparable, took place within the context of Internet and other developments in the media. There has been no resolution to this case, no evidence as to whether he is alive or dead and yet hardly any media coverage or funding compared to the McCann case

oreocookiez Wed 10-Jul-13 17:41:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Emilythornesbff Wed 10-Jul-13 17:39:12

Good points well made clouds and jamie

JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 10-Jul-13 16:01:47


JamieandtheMagicTorch Wed 10-Jul-13 16:01:17

I agree clouds

The Madeline McCann case is not comparable with Ben Needham or Genette Tate (both of which I do remember), because of the change in the media in the years since the former case.

The McCann have been forced into an invidious position in the most horrible of circumstances

CloudsAndTrees Wed 10-Jul-13 08:31:05

That doesn't mean this one shouldn't get it though. The problem is with the other cases, not the one that is being dealt with well.

The McCanns have had a huge amount to deal with with the media storm that came about after the disappearance of their child, and some of that is a good thing, some isn't. I don't think they can be blamed for wanting as much attention as possible when there's a chance it could have lead to their child being found. They may have made mistakes in the way they have dealt with some things along the way, but who wouldn't? People make mistakes when cooking their dinner sometimes, I don't think they can be blamed for mistakes made with something so huge.

Maybe this case is getting extra resources because of all the media attention, but I don't see that as a bad thing at all.

janey68 Tue 09-Jul-13 23:09:25

There are cold case reviews, yes. But I think the difference here is that the review and investment of such high levels of funding have been triggered by the massively high profile of this case, and the personal involvement of the PM etc... All cases certainly don't get that.

EldritchCleavage Tue 09-Jul-13 22:49:30

Alternatively, other cases DO get reviewed periodically but because there is no massive media interest, those reviews don't get reported.

janey68 Tue 09-Jul-13 21:44:27

Well let's hope so but I will be very surprised if it happens. I also wonder why it hasn't happened for the other cases mentioned which have occurred over recent years

CloudsAndTrees Tue 09-Jul-13 21:07:46

Maybe now that the precedent has been set, if anything as tragic happens again, then there will automatically be this 2 year review because that's what parents will be able to expect. It might ultimately save a child that is currently waiting to even be conceived.

Emilythornesbff Tue 09-Jul-13 16:52:35

jbfletcher I don't know. sad

Ilovemyself Tue 09-Jul-13 16:44:51

Both of the posts Janey68 says are exactly what I mean!

Emilythornesbff Tue 09-Jul-13 16:32:58

I didn't say the case is more "worthy" than any other because it has media attention.

janey68 Tue 09-Jul-13 15:28:52

At the end of the day, the Met are gaining far more in terms of their public image and credibility by investing in this case, than by investing in others. They are not investing so much because madeleine is more deserving, or because there is a more reasonable chance of resolving the case. It's because the massive manipulation of public perception about the case has been unprecedented. This is a response to the whole 'McCann machine.' And that's what's wrong.

janey68 Tue 09-Jul-13 15:23:43

But the leads have only been discovered because of the 2 year review of the McCann case which has already happened Emily. That's the point many of us are making. The case has been given unprecedented publicity and treated as a 'special', 'more deserving' case on every level: from the way the parents have been presented to the funding given to it. That's what sits uneasily with many of us. And in a sense the £5 million is not the key issue: if the budget were £5 billion surely the principle should be that cases are treated equitably.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Tue 09-Jul-13 15:19:54

Emily - correct. But HOW do you decide which gets the money and resources and which don't? Which family/child/person is more deserving?

Emilythornesbff Tue 09-Jul-13 15:16:11

Well, if the "£5 million" were divided among all the cases of missing children I doubt anyone would be found or any mysteries solved.

Is it not possible that the police are aware of leads in this case which would make it worthwhile undertaking an investigation?

So I don't see how not investigating one situation benefits the victims or family of another.

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