Thursday, 2 May, 2013
SIX YEARS. I don't think we are the only ones who find this hard to believe.
It's difficult to know what to write as each year passes, still without news of Madeleine. In many ways, nothing's changed. We still worry about her, we miss her as much as we ever did, we remain as determined as ever to find her and to know what has happened.
The one thing that has progressed significantly over the last year is the work of the Metropolitan Police. We remain greatly encouraged by their work and the many things they have managed to uncover so far. Their commitment and increasing determination parallels our own and brings us great comfort and reassurance. We continue to hope and pray that the Met working with the Portuguese Authorities will lead to a significant breakthrough. We need to find Madeleine and bring some peace to our family.
In the early days, Gerry remarked that we weren't sure whether this journey would be a sprint or a marathon. It's been much, much more than a marathon (I'm qualified to say that now!) We really appreciate how lucky we have been to be surrounded by such fabulous support for so long. Thank you to all our supporters for being there alongside us and for never forgetting about Madeleine. We're here for the long haul, for as long as it takes. Thank you for being there too.
And finally, a special 'thank you' to everybody who sponsored me to run the London marathon recently. Your kind donations, which have now amounted to more than £21,000 (fantastic!) will allow the charity, Missing People, to continue the search for many missing children and vulnerable adults, as well as provide essential support for their families. Your compassion and generosity will help to ease the suffering of many people. Thank you.
As we approach the end of another year, we'd like to thank everyone again for their amazing support. It is both heart-warming and reassuring to know that after all this time Madeleine still remains in so many people's hearts and minds. This solidarity and commitment gives us great hope. Thank you.
The Metropolitan Police Review of all the material in the inquiry has been underway for over eighteen months. We have been really impressed and greatly encouraged by the work which has been done and its findings to date which are revealing there are definitely many stones yet to turn. We continue to wait and hope that the Portuguese authorities will agree to reopen the case so that the many lines of enquiry can be investigated. As Madeleine's parents, we won't be able to rest until we know that all that can be feasibly done to find her, and the person who took her, has been done.
In the meantime, we will continue to do all that we can to aid the search for our daughter and assist the Review process.
This year, Madeleine's Fund has paid for:
1. A 24 hour, 7 day a week telephone line to receive and capture information from around the world which may assist the investigation
2. A small investigation team, including a Portuguese speaker to help with the above and with campaign activities.
Since March 2012 independent `physical' investigation of lines of enquiry by our team has been put on hold whilst the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Review progresses. This has been to avoid duplication (and thereby unnecessary expenditure) and to prevent the risk of compromising any work, albeit unintentionally, carried out by the MPS. The private investigation team employed by the Fund continue to cooperate and work with the Metropolitan Police as and when necessary.
3. Part-time administrative support to aid the investigation and campaign to find Madeleine (campaign coordinator and media liaison)
4. The awareness-raising campaign to ensure that Madeleine is not forgotten and to encourage the general public to remain vigilant. This has included the running of the Find Madeleine website.
5. Assistance from a specialist Portuguese communications agency to ensure that our message is communicated as widely and accurately as possible in Portugal, where support and help to find Madeleine is especially needed.
We are very aware that without public help it will be virtually impossible to find Madeleine. It would have been incredibly difficult for us to have maintained a search for her this long without such support, including donations to the Fund. Due to the sales of my book, `Madeleine', the financial position of the Fund has significantly improved from a year and a half ago so we would like to reiterate our gratitude to everybody who bought the book. This has helped the search in more ways than one. Whilst fund expenditure has decreased over the past six months (due to a reduction in investigation spending as outlined in point 2) the Directors feel it is important that the fund maintains reasonable reserves so that the search for Madeleine can be resumed quickly should the MPS review not lead to a reopening of the case in Portugal. We desperately hope of course that the official investigation to find Madeleine will be reopened – and soon – as we still believe this is probably our best chance of finding our little girl.
Despite becoming stronger in ourselves and being able to create as special a Christmas as possible for our children, this time of year will never be as it should without Madeleine. Whilst Gerry and I think it constantly, Sean and Amelie now vocalise it, especially when doing something really nice like putting up the decorations….”If only Madeleine was here too…”
If you know what has happened to Madeleine, or where she might be now, please, please do the right thing: Find the compassion and courage and let us know. Thank you.
This past weekend we sat and opened the many, many Christmas cards which have been sent to us, at what is now our sixth Christmas without Madeleine. The majority were from people we have never met. It was once again a very humbling yet totally uplifting experience. We are deeply touched by the thoughtfulness and compassion which we continue to experience and for the love and hope which shine through for Madeleine. Thank you so much. It means such a lot - and helps us immensely.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of our supporters. We wish you a festive period full of laughter, warmth and friendship – and hope for a special 2013.
29 November, 2012
I welcome Lord Leveson's report today and hope it will mark the start of a new era for our press in which it treats those in the news responsibly, with care and consideration.
Needless to say, more time will be needed to read, digest and understand all the implications of the report but my initial impressions are positive (assuming implementation).
Some important points are worth labouring, especially when there is an element of scaremongering (intentional or otherwise) through the use of misleading language:
We, and the other core participant victims, are all totally in favour of freedom of speech. Nobody is advocating a loss of this basic human right. But freedom of speech does not equate to freedom to slander.
None of us want, or is requesting, a government-controlled press. We want a free press but one which is responsible, accountable and independently regulated. This is not a big ask. The press can do a lot of good -we've experienced this. But it can also destroy lives -and we've had a more than a fair share of that too. Any professional organisation or industry which has the potential to do harm should be accountable for its actions. Why should the media be exempt from this? Ensuring responsible journalism and accountability is paramount.
It is important to keep in mind what the Leveson Inquiry is about. We gave evidence to the inquiry last year because we don't want anyone else to suffer as we, our family and the search for our missing daughter did at the hands of our press. It is this need to prevent such harm to others in the future that has driven the core participant victims to assist the inquiry. We need a system such as that recommended by Lord Leveson to have any hope of achieving this.
Legislative underpinning is not statutory regulation and implementation of such is quite some way from `crossing the Rubicon'.
I hope the Prime Minister, like the other party leaders, will embrace Lord Leveson's report and act swiftly to ensure activation of his recommendations within an acceptable and clearly defined time-scale.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lord Leveson and the legal team for their colossal efforts throughout the inquiry to date. I truly hope it will lead to an historic and more importantly, crucial achievement for all in our society.
20 September, 2012
Thank you to everybody who has supported our summer campaign again. By displaying the new poster, car sticker or luggage tag of Madeleine, awareness of her plight is maintained, as is our appeal to the general public to keep looking for her.
We are constantly thinking of new ways to improve our search for Madeleine: we don't know what it will be, or what it will take to bring us that vital call. It may even turn out to be a simple case of `the right place at the right time' which is why we need to persevere in our efforts and to keep prompting people.
The Metropolitan Police are continuing with the investigative review and we are really encouraged by their work. We continue to hope that the case will be re-opened in Portugal in the near future so that the investigation to find our daughter can be resumed.
The nationwide campaign that I've been involved in, as part of my ambassadorial role for the charity `Missing People', is now in its tenth week. This campaign has been possible thanks to the generous help of the Outdoor Media Centre and its members in partnership with the team at Missing People. Images of missing children and adults have been displayed on huge billboards in many cities throughout the UK, appealing to the general public for help. Already many vulnerable have been found since the campaign started which is obviously fantastic news. Thank you to everyone who has supported this initiative and responded to these appeals. Your help is invaluable. (More updates in due course)
We continue to feel humbled but at the same time buoyed by the amount of support we still receive from so many people. It helps us enormously and undoubtedly helps our search for Madeleine too. Thank you.
Friday, 25 May, 2012
Today, 25th May, is International Missing Children's Day (IMCD)– a day to remember the many thousands of children who go missing every year from all around the world. We hope that this date will become ingrained in people's minds as we work together to tackle this vast and devastating problem.
This year in the UK, IMCD has been marked by the launch of two highly valuable initiatives:
1. The charity `Missing People' (www.missingpeople.org.uk) have launched a new single telephone number, 116 000, as the number to call for advice, help and support if you, or your loved one go missing. It is free, available 24 hours a day and confidential.
(NB: To report a missing child, call 999)
2. The `Child Exploitation and Online Protection' centre (CEOP; www.ceop.police.uk) in association with 'Parents & Abducted Children together' (PACT; www.pact-online.org) have launched a brand new version of the MissingKids website, www.missingkids.co.uk. This website includes information and appeals about the many missing children, in or from the UK, and enables law enforcement agencies to disseminate data and photographs of these children worldwide. The website is an important tool for finding missing children and reuniting them with their families.
Our appeal to you:
Every year in the UK alone, more than a quarter of a million people are reported missing. An estimated 140,000 are children. Behind every missing child or adult case is a family suffering immensely through heartache and confusion.
Please remember the new number, 116 000. Store it in your mobile phone and pass it on to others. One day, you might just need it, and then it will be a lifeline.
Visit www.missingkids.co.uk and circulate the web address to your contacts. Please spend ten minutes looking through the different pictures of missing children on the website. It has been estimated that one missing child in seven (1 in 7!) is found because a member of the general public has recognised them after seeing their photograph. Every one of us can make a difference.
And finally, thank you to the Government, the charities and organisations, the businesses and the general public for helping to raise awareness, providing critical resources and for joining the search. Let's keep it going!
Wednesday, 2 May, 2012
It's hard to define succinctly how it feels to have reached five years without Madeleine. Impossible, heart-breaking, frightening, exasperating, incomprehensible. Sometimes it feels like forever and at other times, just like yesterday.
What is certain though is that since the Metropolitan Police review was commenced last May, the chances of finding Madeleine and discovering what happened are now significantly greater. Additionally, albeit less importantly, our lives and those of our family have been much more bearable over the past year, simply by knowing those stones are finally being turned.
We hope that the investigation will be reopened in Portugal soon, as this will give us the best possible chance of finding Madeleine and the person who committed this crime - of solving the case. The term `mystery' (commonly used by the media) is not applicable until all possible avenues have been explored. They haven't been, and can't be until the case is reopened.
The age-progression image of Madeleine released last week is an important tool in the search for Madeleine. We believe this image bears a strong resemblance to what Madeleine will look like now. Please help us by distributing this image as far and wide as you can. Someone might just recognise her.
Abducted children have been found many years following their disappearance.
We cannot give up. We won't give up. Please keep looking for Madeleine.
And if you know something, please do the right thing:
CONTACT: OPERATION GRANGE on 0207 321 9251 (0044 207 321 9251 from outside the UK) or Operation.Grange@met.pnn.police.uk
OR CRIMESTOPPERS in confidence on 0800 555111; www.crimestoppers-uk.org
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us, comforted us, battled with us, cried and laughed with us over the past five years. We couldn't have made it this far on our own. Your support has been amazing, invaluable and very, very humbling. Thank you.
And now.... the search goes on!
Kate and Gerry
Saturday, 17 March, 2012
On Saturday, Gerry and I, along with our friends and hundreds of other runners ran in the 'Miles for Missing People' 10K event in Regent's Park, London.
It was greatly encouraging - judging from the brilliant turnout - to see that the weather and resulting conditions (rain, wind and mud!) didn't put any of us off. It was also fantastic to have so many children there, participating in the fun run. Well done!
A huge thank you to everyone who supported the event (including all those who generously sponsored me and other runners). In doing so you have contributed to the essential work done by the team at Missing People, and thereby helped the many missing children and adults, and their families left behind.
And finally, thank you to Missing People for all their hard work and commitment, day in day out, to make the lives of people like ourselves that bit more bearable.
Wednesday, 21 December, 2011
It's Christmas - again. A time of mixed emotions for our family and many others in similar positions around the world. A time to hold together.
Thank you to all our supporters for your help throughout the year and for remaining united with us in our longing and determination to find Madeleine.
The year has ended on a positive note. Our search for Madeleine and the Metropolitan Police review of the case are progressing well. In addition, this December saw a landmark event for the protection of, and support for, missing children and their families left behind. The Government's Missing Children and Adults' Strategy aims to reduce the number of people who go missing; to protect the missing whilst they are away and to give families access to support, similar to victims of crime. The strategy follows 12 months of campaigning by individuals and organisations like the charity Missing People.
Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign and influenced this significant development.
This Christmas, please keep Madeleine and all missing loved ones and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.
The support you give enables us to move into 2012 with renewed energy and continued hope.
Kate and Gerry
Thursday, 27 October, 2011
My grandparents always used to say that the years pass more quickly the older you get. It certainly feels that way. I still dream of being able to stop time. Our only alternative however is to continue doing as much as we can to the best of our ability to enhance the search for Madeleine. So that is what we’ll do.
Thank you to everyone who has bought and read my book. Not only is this helping to fund our investigation and campaign, it will also improve and maintain awareness of Madeleine and our need to find her. It seems obvious that the more people who are informed worldwide, the more eyes and ears Madeleine will have assisting the search for her. We are really grateful for your support.
We also appreciate the general public’s help in achieving a review of Madeleine’s case. It is a big relief to us that our government finally agreed for a review to take place. We are grateful to them and to the Metropolitan Police Service for undertaking this fundamental and highly valuable procedure which has been underway now for several months. Although it will be a lengthy and difficult process, it is definitely a major step forward for Madeleine.
I would also like to thank everyone who has written to us or sent their support in some way over the past six months. We have once again been touched by the incredible kindness and commitment shown to us and Madeleine, and bolstered by the continuing encouragement and positivity.
Our Letter to David Cameron, 11 May, 2011
Dear Prime Minister,
As a devoted father and family man, you know the importance of children. Our beloved eldest child, Madeleine, was abducted from Praia da Luz, Portugal, four years ago. Since then, we have devoted all our energies to ensuring her safe return.
Today we are asking you - and the British and Portuguese governments - to help find Madeleine and bring her back to her loving family.
We live in hope that Madeleine will be found alive and returned to us. One call might be all that is needed to lead to Madeleine and her abductor.
To this end, we are seeking a joint INDEPENDENT, TRANSPARENT and COMPREHENSIVE review of ALL information held in relation to Madeleine's disappearance. Thus far, there has been NO formal review of the material held by the police authorities - which is routine practice in most major unsolved crimes.
It is not right that a young vulnerable British citizen has essentially been given up on. This remains an unsolved case of a missing child. Children are our most precious gift.
Please don't give up on Madeleine.
Kate & Gerry McCann
David Cameron's Response
Monday, 2nd May, 2011
2011 has been an incredibly busy year so far. Every year since Madeleine was taken has been, but this one, particularly so.
Between January and March we held 3 fundraising events – `Bags of Hope for Madeleine' - at the National Space Centre in Leicester, the Crypt in the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. Despite the time and effort required in organising these evenings, all three were very positive. As well as the money raised to further the search for Madeleine, these occasions were important in gathering supporters together, re-energising the campaign and increasing awareness of the frightening and poorly resourced problem of missing and exploited children. The tangible warmth and support present also gave Gerry and I and all our family an essential boost. We'd like to thank everybody who supported these events – the venue staff, caterers, entertainers, those who donated bags and other prizes and of course all those who attended the events. We're very grateful to Steve Womack, Ricky Tomlinson and Sanjeev Kohli in particular, for giving up their time to support Madeleine, and for making these evenings extra special.
The main project this year has been writing my book. It will be launched on Thursday 12th May, which poignantly and coincidentally happens to be Madeleine's 8th birthday. It's a relief that the end of this intense period is now in sight. We hope and pray that it will bring us the result we long for and that not only the book but this whole ordeal and heartache will be behind us before too much longer.
Madeleine is still missing and there is still a lot to be done. Our efforts to find her are not diminishing. If anything, they are escalating. The need for a review by the authorities of Madeleine's case remains, and our desire to achieve this unwavering. This is a stone which definitely needs to be turned for Madeleine.
We would like to reiterate our gratitude to all of our supporters for not forgetting. Four years may have passed but our little girl is still missing. And, she is still findable. Your continued kindness and backing could help us achieve this.
Thank you again for not giving up on Madeleine.
Friday, 17th December, 2010
This month marks our fourth Christmas without Madeleine. We hope with all our hearts that wherever she is, she is safe and well and whoever may be with her is treating her with the love and respect she so deserves.
We would like to thank all our supporters for 'staying at our side' in spite of the injustices that we continue to be subjected to. Madeleine is the person who suffers most from all of this injustice. It is this fact alone which causes us the most distress. It is absolutely heart-breaking.
The Wikileaks 'news' this week has led to the repetition of many unfounded allegations and smears both in the UK and in Portugal in particular. This has been seized on as an opportunity by those who wish to compound our suffering and hamper our efforts, including the very person who was entrusted with finding our daughter. Those who could help Madeleine but choose to do nothing are also complicit in this injustice. Without the love and help from so many good people around the world we would not be able to find the strength to continue the fight to find our daughter.
Thank you to all those who have signed our petition calling on the UK and Portuguese Governments to conduct an independent review of Madeleine's case. The petition is still on-going. If you haven't signed and would like to further the search for Madeleine, please sign our on-line petition or sign a paper petition form. The latter can be downloaded from the website and distributed to shops, post-offices etc. and returned to us.
Along with our family, we would like to thank everyone who has sent us Christmas cards, letters, donations and gifts at this difficult time of year. It is impossible to find enough positive words to describe such kindness or the hugely important and heart-warming effect it has on us. Without any doubt, it helps us immensely and we are incredibly grateful.
We wish you all a merry Christmas and a very happy, healthy and positive 2011. Please remember to spare a thought and a prayer for all the children who will not be with their families this Christmas.
Kate and Gerry
Monday, 15th November, 2010
There are several different reasons as to why I finally came to the decision with my husband Gerry to write and publish a book. This decision has not been an easy one. Many factors needed to be given thorough and careful consideration, not least the impact of such a book on the lives of our three children. My reason for writing is simple; to give an account of the truth.
Publishing this book has been a very difficult decision and is one that we have taken after much deliberation and with a very heavy heart. However, in the last few months with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund, it is a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands.
Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl.
We are hopeful that this book may help the investigation to find Madeleine in other ways too. Our hope is that it may prompt those who have relevant information (knowingly or not) to come forward and share it with our team. Somebody holds that `key piece of the jigsaw'.
Bill Scott-Kerr, Publisher at Transworld, bought the book from the Christopher Little Literary Agency for publication in Spring 2011. All royalties will be donated directly to Madeleine's Fund – Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited.
Bill said: `It is an enormous privilege to be publishing this book. We are so pleased to be joining Kate and Gerry McCann in the Find Madeleine campaign."
The McCanns' Literary Agents, Christopher Little and Neil Blair, said: "We are honoured to be part of this emotive project and to support the McCanns in their search for Madeleine."
Thank you for your continued support.
Wednesday, 3rd November, 2010
It is exactly three and a half years since our daughter Madeleine was so cruelly taken from us. Three and a half years without her seeing her brother, her sister, her Mummy, her Daddy or her best friends.
We are still searching for her. Our small team continues to review all available information, even though we STILL don't have access to ALL of the information that the UK and Portuguese authorities have. Our team has interviewed hundreds of witnesses, received over 1000 calls, dealt with over 15,000 emails and maintained a computerised database of all information they have received. Despite the difficulties resulting from lack of official assistance, they `follow up' all new leads to try and get fresh information into the investigation.
It is incredible to think that for the last two years and three months NO police force has proactively been doing anything to help us find Madeleine. Crucially, there has been NO formal review of the material held by the police authorities - which is routine practice in most countries, and especially when a key piece of the `jigsaw' may have been overlooked.
We have tried in vain to get the authorities to play their part but our requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. It is simply not acceptable that they have, to all intents and purposes, given up on Madeleine. We need the authorities to do more.
However we know we are not alone. We have the tremendous support of family, friends and of course you the public. A lot of this support comes in the form of people saying to us `if there's anything we can do, just let us know or `I'd like to help but I don't know how'. To these people, and indeed yourself, my plea is simple:
We need your support to continue to lobby the British and Portuguese Governments to undertake a joint or independent review of Madeleine's case.
How can you do this? Simply visit: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/madeleinemccann_case_review/ today and sign the petition to call on the UK and Portuguese authorities to conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine. And in turn, please spread the word and encourage as many others to do the same. Together we can, and will pull all of the loose ends of Madeleine's case together and find her. Thank you.
Looking for our daughter is not without significant cost.
Another way you can show your support is by continuing to help us fund the search for Madeleine.
To carry on searching for Madeleine and to ensure that the process has continued in a meaningful and proactive way, we have been able to utilise the generous donations paid in to Madeleine's Fund by the general public, libel damages paid to ourselves and our friends and money raised through a variety of fund-raising efforts. The fund has allowed;
- Our investigation team of ex-police officers to operate and conduct enquiries in the UK, Portugal and further afield.
- A Portuguese assistant/translator.
- A 24 hour telephone line with translators to receive information from the public
- Media liaison in Portugal and the UK to ensure that we convey the simple factual messages: there is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine has been physically harmed; we must keep looking for her and those who took her.
- Awareness campaigns in Portugal, Spain and further afield.
- Website hosting and development and social network site campaigns to raise awareness through the internet
- A part-time campaign coordinator
If Madeleine's Fund remains as it is, with the current rate of expenditure, it will run out in Spring 2011. This would essentially mean that any kind of proactive search for Madeleine would cease. So again we need your help. If you can, please consider donating to Madeleine's fund.
- £1 pays for the multi-lingual call centre availability for 1 hour
- £2 per month pays for 12 travel packs that are distributed to holidaymakers going all over the world
- £10 pays for 1000 posters that are translated and distributed across the world.
- £25 pays for the access to a 24 hour multi-lingual telephone service for 1 day
- £50 pays for the running costs of investigation office (and staff) for 2 hours
- £420 pays for 10,000 multi-lingual prayer cards for Madeleine, with photograph and contact details
Someone knows what has happened to Madeleine. We simply need to reach that person. We need to obtain that key piece of information, that `missing piece of the jigsaw'. One call may be all we need to find Madeleine and who took her.
Our little girl is now seven years old; innocent, vulnerable and waiting to be found. Please, please sign the petition and help us to find her.
On behalf of my family, thank you.
Statement 5th October 2010
We were told last night of the resignation of Jim Gamble from the Child Exploitation and On Line Protection Unit (CEOP). We are certain that he will be a huge loss to the field of child protection. Knowing how committed Mr Gamble is to this cause, it is extremely saddening that he feels unable to continue to lead CEOP which appears to be as a consequence of the proposed Governmental changes.
The search for our daughter Madeleine has been greatly enhanced by the work carried out by the team at CEOP. We would like to thank Mr Gamble for all of his efforts, both for Madeleine and for all missing and exploited children.
In this challenging economic climate, we urge the Government to remember the value of our children and the importance of the invaluable work which is necessary to protect children against the devastating crimes of child abduction and exploitation.
Update September 6th 2010
As the Summer draws to a close, I'd like to thank everyone who has helped with our Summer Campaign by using Madeleine luggage tags, displaying posters, wearing Madeleine t-shirts while on their travels and of course for remaining vigilant. Thank you also to all the students who are helping with our 'Students for Madeleine' initiative. I have no doubt that it all helps. Keeping Madeleine's image out there greatly increases our chances of finding her. It is a reminder to people that she is still missing and to please keep looking for her. In addition, we know that somebody knows where Madeleine is. One more reminder of her may be all that it takes for them to finally come forward and let us know.
Despite the summertime being a relatively quiet period for everyone, our work to find Madeleine continues. There will be some changes and development in terms of strategy and ideas as we endeavour to leave no stone unturned in our search. This will include some changes to the board of Madeleine's Fund, simply to try and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of what we are doing. It has now been three years and four months since Madeleine was taken from us. None of us ever thought we'd still be in the position we are today. Inevitably there has to be change for a variety of reasons but importantly, this will also allow people to help and support us in different ways. Regardless of change, everyone's focus, commitment and desire continues to be that of finding Madeleine.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
May 31st, Important Update: Child Rescue Alert
Last Tuesday, May 25th, was International Missing Children's Day. Disappointingly, the day didn't seem to get as much attention as it deserves, or rather, as all missing children deserve – and need!
The day was also important as the UK's new `Child Rescue Alert' was launched. Gerry and I, along with many others, campaigned hard back in 2008 for the development of such a system within all countries across Europe, to help when a child is abducted. Many of you also helped to make this campaign successful by lobbying your M.E.P.'s at this time. In view of this, I feel it's important that as many people as possible within the UK are aware of, and familiar with this new `Child Rescue Alert'. This is a system which could save the life of a child. Each member of our country could play a role in achieving this, if they are aware of the CRA and its usage.
The Child Rescue Alert will be used by the police when it is probable that a child has been abducted and in imminent danger of serious harm or death. When the CRA is launched, the public will be notified via various media channels, including TV and radio, with broadcasts being interrupted on a regular basis, to ensure that as many people as possible are aware of the abduction and therefore able to help. The telephone number to call with information following an alert will be: 0300 2000 333. (NB: If you think your child has been abducted or if you think you have seen an abduction taking place before a CRA is launched, call 999 immediately).
For more information on the Child Rescue Alert, please visit www.npia.police.uk
Another way to help missing children right now is to visit http://shop.ebay.co.uk/pact_auction/m.html. This is an on-line auction of celebrity artwork organised by PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together; www.pact-online.org) in support of missing children. You can bid now for creative `balloon' artwork by Robert Pattinson, Sir Roger Moore, Sir Michael Caine and many more – and at the same time help PACT continue their desperately important work on behalf of all missing children! (The auction closes later this week).
Finally, as another May comes to an end, we'd like to say another `thank you' to everyone who has continued to support us in our search for Madeleine. We are so grateful for all the cards and letters full of kind words and encouragement, the donations to `Madeleine's Fund', the beautiful flowers and also the birthday cards and gifts for Madeleine. Suffice to say, such support and kindness is invaluable and greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much.
INTERNATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN'S DAY: May 25th
Tuesday (25th May) is International Missing Children's Day (IMCD). This is a day when we remember all of those children around the world who are missing and separated from their families. It is also an opportunity for everyone to try and help these children and to make a difference to this vast and tragic global problem.
The NPIA will be re-launching the UK's Child Rescue Alert on Tuesday. This `Alert' system for child abductions has been updated in order to improve its effectiveness. It should hopefully prove to be a very useful aid in finding abducted children quickly and returning them to their families. Our hope is that the 27 European Member States will all strive to have similar systems up and running effectively as soon as possible, including the essential facility for cross-border cooperation.
PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together) will be marking International Missing Children's Day in a particularly exciting way! Have a look on www.pact-online.org now to find out how. The team at PACT do an incredible job in trying to make the world a safer place for our children, so please support them if you can.
As a parent of a missing child, every day is difficult in some way. We would like to ask everybody to spare a thought and prayer for all missing children, during this coming Tuesday in particular. If you can help in any way, either through practical means, by improving awareness in some way or by donating to one of the Missing Children organisations (see our `Missing Children' section) we would be very grateful.
Just because a problem cannot be seen, doesn't mean it's not there or can be forgotten.
Missing children need our help. We can all make a difference.
Thank you for your fantastic support.
Update: May 18th, 2010
I competed in the Etape Caledonia on Sunday, May 16. Due to mild conditions, excellent pacemaking (especially Duncan Morrison number 1172) and a following wind the whole way round, I managed to come in well ahead of expected in 3 hours 51min 27sec. I finished 171st out of over 3500 finishers so there is not much room for improvement next year!
Thanks to all who have sponsored me and especially Andy Renwick, Alan Crombie, Paul MacIntyre and Michelle Jeffrey for support on the day and donating to Madeleine's fund.
Update: Another 81 Miles for Madeleine
Poster for Event
Madeleine has been missing for just over 3 years and recently had her 7th birthday.
This weekend I am competing in the Etape Caledonia - an 81 mile (130km) cycle through Highland Perthshire with almost 2000m of ascent. I am raising money for Madeleine's Fund- Leaving No Stone Unturned and I would be grateful if you would consider sponsoring me. I hope to get round in under 5 hours- weather, injuries and luck permitting!
Donations can be made online via our donation page or directly through internet transfers (direction are on the donation page).
Please include etape in the reference.
Website Update: Third Anniversary
Thank you to everyone who has stayed with us during the past three years – hoping, praying and supporting our efforts to find Madeleine and bring her home. We know we couldn't have achieved as much as we have without this help.
Milestones and anniversaries are never easy, but the work to find our little Madeleine will continue regardless, with the same determination and tenacity as it always has and for as long as it takes.
It might be three years without Madeleine but it certainly doesn't feel like we're at the end of the line - far from it.
Madeleine. Still missing, still missed, still looking!
Update: Saturday 13th March 2010
Today we joined hundreds of runners to take part in a 10km run in Hyde Park to support the work of the charity 'Missing People' (http://www.missingpeople.org.uk/).
'Miles for Missing People' is the first of what will now be an annual event.
Many relatives who also have a family member missing (through a variety of different circumstances) came to support the event and raise awareness for all missing children and adults.
We want to thank Martin Houghton-Brown and the team at Missing People for organising today's run, and of course for all their commitment and hard work, despite limited resources and recognition.
We would also like to thank everyone who came to run and/or show their support today, as well as all those who have very generously sponsored me and the other runners.
Events like that today, help to remind the world that these children and adults are still missing. By supporting such a cause, we are all giving them a much needed chance of being found - and hopefully reunited with their family.
Statement March 5th 2010
Events this week have yet again been incomprehensible and particularly upsetting.
On Tuesday, the Public Prosecutor in Portugal released a large number of documents (relating to the investigation to find our daughter Madeleine) to the British Media, following their request for access. Disclosing such information publicly greatly jeopardises the search for Madeleine and puts witnesses and innocent members of the general public at risk (as well as causing them great anxiety). Release and publication of information in this manner also potentially compromises future investigations. It is difficult to see how anyone benefits from this week's actions.
It is imperative that the Authorities take responsibility for sensitive and confidential information. We, together with the general public, need assurances that this will not be allowed to happen again. Equally, we need absolute assurances that all credible information and leads will be investigated.
We also urge each individual working for the media to consider their own personal responsibility - to put commercial interests aside occasionally and to bear in mind the potential consequences of their actions, especially when people's lives and well-being are at risk.
Our own investigators have acted professionally and with complete integrity. We are eager to encourage anybody who has any information which may relate to Madeleine's abduction to contact our investigation team directly by phone (0845 838 4699 or 800 814 028), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via the P.O box address given on the website. Information may be given anonymously via each route.
We are incredibly grateful to all those who continue to support us in our search for Madeleine. During weeks such as these, it is invaluable to know that we are not facing this difficult journey alone.
Verdict on Goncalo Amarals book and DVD
We are very pleased and relieved with the judge's decision today. By upholding the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, the judge has rightly agreed that there has been significant, ongoing damage to the search for our beloved daughter Madeleine and to the rights of our family. We are grateful to the judge for accepting that this injustice must not continue.
The court case has demonstrated, once again, that there is no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm. It has also clearly shown that no police force is actively looking for Madeleine, even when they are, shockingly, presented with new information and leads. The motives of those who have tried to convince the world that Madeleine is dead, and who've disgracefully and falsely tried to implicate us in her disappearance, need to be seriously questioned.
As painful and personally damaging as the slanderous claims of Mr Amaral and his supporters have been to us and our family, our primary focus has always been, and always will be, to find Madeleine through our own best investigative efforts. It is still incumbent upon the British and Portuguese authorities to ensure that every credible lead has been investigated and that a meaningful search for our innocent and vulnerable little girl is properly carried out.
We must and will keep looking for Madeleine and those responsible for her abduction. We implore the public, especially the Portuguese people, to help us look for Madeleine, to remain vigilant and to give us any information that could help us find our daughter. Please do not give up onMadeleine. Please call 800 814 028 (In Portugal) or 0845 838 4699.
Kate and Gerry McCann
Wednesday 27th January 2010
Today marks 1000 days since Madeleine was taken from us. It's hard to even say the number. We remember the first few days after Madeleine was taken, watching the clock and counting every hour. Now we've reached 1000 days.
It's difficult sometimes to understand how we've been able to keep going and survive without Madeleine, especially since nothing has changed since that terrifying first night. Madeleine is still missing. Sometimes it even feels 'wrong' to be coping. And yet if we weren't, there would be no search and no campaign to find Madeleine and that just doesn't bear thinking about
! We are very aware though that our ability to cope and keep going for Madeleine has been greatly augmented by the incredible support we have received from so many people and this should never be underestimated. We will always remember and be forever grateful for this help, support and kindness.
This evening we will be holding a fund-raising event in London - 'Still Missing,Still Missed; An Evening for Madeleine'. We will be remembering Madeleine and other missing children throughout the world. We are hoping to raise a good amount of money to further the search for Madeleine but also to benefit the charities, Missing People and Missing Children Europe and the fantastic but often unrecognised work that they do on behalf of all missing children in the UK and Europe.
Also this evening, 1000 lanterns will be released into the night sky - an event which has been called 'Look Up & Look Out for Madeleine'.They will be released from many different locations in the UK, Portugal and the USA. It is a symbolic way for our family, friends and supporters to show that we have not forgotten Madeleine and will never give up on her.
In addition to the above, Simon Armitage has very kindly(and courageously) written a poem for Madeleine to coincide with the 1000th day since her disappearance. It is called 'The Beacon'. We think it is an incredible and really beautiful sonnet. It manages to convey so accurately and succinctly, both our darker moments and the reality of hope and possibility, aswell as including powerful and touching references to Madeleine. We hope it will be read by many.
One thousand days.
Madeleine is still missing and she needs to be found.
We will continue to turn every stone. We will never give upon Madeleine.
Thank you for your support and solidarity. Together we can bring Madeleine home.