Senior detective allowed back onto Ben Needham police team

Det Supt Matt Fenwick
Det Supt Matt Fenwick
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The senior detective in charge of the hunt for missing Ben Needham from Sheffield is back working on the case.

Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick took a team of officers to the Greek island of Kos last week to make a fresh appeal for information on the disappearance of Ben, who was 21 months old when he vanished in 1991.

The toddler, who would be 26 now, was playing outside a farmhouse his grandfather was renovating when he went missing.

But last week Det Supt Fenwick was ordered back to South Yorkshire to face questions from bosses after photographs emerged apparently showing some members of the police team drinking on an eight-hour night out.

Ben's family reacted with outrage when the detective was forced to leave the island, fearing that it would affect the progress being made by his team.

Ben's mum, Kerry Needham, gave her backing to the detective and his team and instructed a barrister to write to Chief Constable Dave Jones calling for him to allow Det Supt Fenwick to continue working on the case.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The senior officer responsible for Operation Ben has now met with the Deputy Chief Constable to explain recent events on Kos.

"He has been advised about the high professional standards that are required.

"We have been in regular contact with the Needham family throughout the last couple of days and it is a clear that they have full confidence in the investigative team.

"The officer will remain in charge of Operation Ben in line with the family’s wishes.

"South Yorkshire Police are absolutely committed to this investigation and the team are getting on with the important task in hand."