Home Office to fund Madeleine McCann hunt until March

Madeleine McCann captured just before she went missing in Portugal in 2007
Madeleine McCann captured just before she went missing in Portugal in 2007
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The Home Office has agreed to fund the hunt for missing Madeleine McCann until March next year.

An application was made by the Metropolitan Police (MPS) for another £300,000 to keep the investigation going throughout 2019/20.

The Home Office said while a final decision on figures would not be made until October, it had reassured force chiefs that a "similar" level of funding would be granted for this year as in 2018/19 when £300,000 was given.

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In a blog on its website, the Home Office said: "We have received a request from the MPS to extend funding for Operation Grange until 31 March 2020.

"Funding for the investigation is provided by the Home Office through Special Grant funding which is usually available to police forces when they face significant or exceptional costs.

"All applications for Special Grant funding are considered carefully on their individual merits. However, decisions are made in batches to allow us to better consider the impact on the overall policing budget.

"Due to this, the next round of Special Grant funding will not be decided until October, however we have written to Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime in the meantime with assurance that the Metropolitan Police Service will receive a similar level of funding for Operation Grange for 2019/20 as it did for the previous year."

So far the investigation, dubbed Operation Grange, has cost £11.75m.

Madeleine was three-years-old when she was last seen on holiday with her parents in Portugal in May 2007.

Scotland Yard launched its own investigation, Operation Grange, into her disappearance in 2013 after a Portuguese inquiry failed to make any headway.