Search for Ben to be stepped up with new funding

New lines of enquiry will be pursued in the hunt to find missing Ben Needham after the Home Office awarded funding to South Yorkshire Police to step up the search.

A request for funding was made by the force’s former Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright last year to allow detectives to ‘continue to support’ the Greek authorities in the search for Ben, who was 21 months old when he vanished in Kos in July 1991.

His mother, Kerry Needham, 42, from Ecclesfield, said the announcement was ‘bittersweet’, adding: “We are overjoyed but it has been a long time coming and a painful wait. In my view, as Ben’s mum, it shouldn’t have even needed considering.”

Ben’s sister Leighanna, 20, said: “If we are needed to go out then we will be on the first flight out there.”

Det Supt Matt Fenwick said: “South Yorkshire Police has provided support to the Greek authorities wherever requested. We hope by continuing to work with them, we can assist in providing the answers Ben’s family so desperately want.”