South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has secured funding from the Home Office to allow South Yorkshire Police to continue to support the Greek authorities in the search for Ben Needham.

Ben Needham went missing over 23 years ago on the Greek island of Kos where he was staying with his mother Kerry in July 1991.

Since then Kerry Needham, Ben’s mum, has been supported by South Yorkshire Police in the search for Ben.

In February 2014, the Commissioner applied to the Home Office for Special Grant Funding to allow South Yorkshire Police to commit further resources to the investigation into Ben’s disappearance. Today the Commissioner received a letter from the Home Office in which the funding was granted.

Commissioner Dr Alan Billings said:

“Ben’s mum, Kerry, has spent more than 23 years searching for her son. I fully support South Yorkshire Police in their ongoing pursuit of the facts. They have worked hard in facilitating the Greek authorities investigation into Ben’s disappearance but there is still more work to do. This will be made easier with this additional funding, which will allow further lines of inquiry to be explored.

“Along with the Chief Constable, I remain committed to finding Ben. I’m pleased that the Home Office saw fit to support us in this commitment and have agreed to provide additional funding which will allow South Yorkshire Police to further their investigations into the disappearance of Ben.”

Detective Superintendent Matt Fenwick said: “Ben was a very young child when he went missing 23 years ago. His family has endured untold pain and anguish in the years that followed and have never given up in trying to find him.

“South Yorkshire Police has provided support to the Greek authorities wherever requested in assisting with the investigation. We hope that by continuing to work with them, we can assist in providing the answers Ben’s family so desperately want.

“We will now take time to establish the right investigation team, with a view to the inquiry commencing in April.”