Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 09:34 UK

McCanns say UK police 'given up' on Madeleine hunt

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann went missing nearly three years ago

British authorities have "given up" on looking for missing girl Madeleine McCann, her parents have said.

Speaking as the third anniversary of her disappearance nears, Kate and Gerry McCann told GMTV they wanted the government to review the whole case.

Gerry McCann said it was wrong that he and wife Kate had to lead efforts to find their child.

Madeleine went missing from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, Portugal, in May 2007, aged three.

Mr McCann said it was "incredibly frustrating" that police in Portugal and the UK had not been actively looking for Madeleine "for a very long time".

The couple - from Rothley, Leicestershire - still believe their daughter is alive and are releasing a pack of publicity material for people to take with them when they travel abroad.

It might just be time - there could be a group of people out there who are sitting with this on their conscience
Kate McCann

Mr McCann said the files on the case were not all in one place and that a comprehensive review of all the information was needed.

He told GMTV's Lorraine Kelly: "It's not right that an innocent, vulnerable British citizen is essentially given up on.

"And I don't think it's right that, as parents, that we have to drive the search. Of course we will, but not everyone has had the same resources and support that we have had to be able to do that."

The McCanns have hired private investigators to help look for their daughter.

At the time of her disappearance, the couple were criticised by some for leaving their three children alone in a holiday apartment as they went for dinner nearby.

Mr McCann said: "If we could turn back the clock and change what happened, obviously we wouldn't have done it.

"We can't. And what I would say is, you know, people have got to put themselves into our position. What would you do if it was your daughter? After this, what would you do?"

Kate and Gerry McCann
The McCanns want a full review of the investigation

He went on: "What you need to do is make the decisions for the right reason and do it with the best intentions and really stick to your guns."

Kate McCann said she found Madeleine's birthday, on 12 May, harder to cope with than the anniversary of her disappearance on 3 May.

"Her birthday is actually [a] much more difficult day for us than May 3. May 3 really is just another day without Madeleine, but the 12th is obviously a day when we should be celebrating Madeleine, celebrating with Madeleine."

She said that the couple spent lots of time with their five-year-old twins Sean and Amelie and managed to have some kind of "normality", but that it was always "tinged" with the burden of Madeleine's absence.

Former GP Mrs McCann said she would not give up until her daughter was found.

"It might just be time. There could be a group of people out there who are sitting with this on their conscience," she said.

"And every time Madeleine is mentioned or every time there is an image - again, it's just pricking their conscience.

"Their situation might change and they may then feel comfortable to come forward."

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