The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann will be granted an extra £150,000, the Home Office has confirmed.
Maddie was just three years old when she went missing from an apartment in May 2007 while on holiday with her family in in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
Since then, £11,600,000 has been spent on the investigation – Operation Grange – which was launched by Scotland Yard in 2011 after a Portuguese enquiry failed.
The funding was due to expire at the end of September this year, meaning the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) would be unable to continue their investigation.
As such, the Home Office confirmed earlier in the year that they had received – and were considering – a request from the MPS to extend funding until March 2019.
They established that the cost of Operation Grange had been met through Special Grant funding, which is available to police forces when they face ‘significant or exceptional costs’.
And now it has been confirmed that the request for funding has been approved by the government, meaning police can continue to search for the missing girl.
As reported by Sky News, a spokesperson for the Home Office said:
We have confirmed that Special Grant funding of £150,000 will be provided to the Metropolitan Police Service for the six-month period to 31 March 2019.
It has been more than 11 years since Madeleine disappeared and she would now be 15; she went missing just days before her fourth birthday.
Since her disappearance, her parents Kate and Gerry, both 50, have never lost hope that they will find their eldest daughter.
Earlier this year, on the 11th anniversary of her disappearance, they posted to the ‘Official Find Madeleine Campaign’ Facebook page, saying:
It gets harder to know what to say or write as each anniversary of Madeleine’s abduction approaches then passes. Life is full and busy which helps but Madeleine is still missing and she is still dearly missed.
Information continues to come in (incredible as it may seem after so long, although we are grateful for that) and work goes on. Perseverance and hope remain.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support us and wish us, especially Madeleine, well. After eleven years such warmth and persisting solidarity is truly remarkable, and at the same time a real tonic and boost to our spirit.
We couldn’t bear for Madeleine to be forgotten or to become just a ‘story’. She is a real person and still our ‘little girl’ and as we always have, we will endeavour to do whatever it takes to find her. Thank you so much for staying with us on this mission.
The investigation into Maddie’s disappearance also received money in May this year, as the Home Office pledged another cash injection of just over £150,000 into Operation Grange to mark the 11th anniversary.
As reported by The Telegraph at the time, Home Office Minister of State, Baroness Williams of Trafford, made the following statement:
An application from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for further Special Grant funding for Operation Grange for 1 April – 30 September 2018 has been received.
This is for an amount similar to the £154,000 granted for the period of 1 October 2017 – 31 March 2018. The MPS has been briefed that its latest application will be granted.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).