(Up North) Earlier reports that Shannon Matthews, the 9-year-old schoolgirl missing for three weeks, had been abducted by West Yorkshire Police, were innacurate says a police statement. The girl has, in fact, been adopted by the force as its mascot.
Shannon was found on Friday after a huge search involving every police force in Britain, but no force was looking harder for her than the trusty souls of the West Yorkshire Constabulary, who took the little girl's picture to their hearts.
Sergeant Bill Grimsdyke, who loved her more than any other officer, said:
"She's a breath of fresh air! Always smiling. Champion!"
Head of the police search, Detective Arthur Arbuthnot, 81, told reporters:
"She's a lovely lass! When we got her back to the station for questioning, we realised just what a little gem she is! It'd be a shame to let her go now. We've adopted her, and her mother says it should be OK, as long as she doesn't have to pay for her upkeep anymore!"
Det. Arbuthnot was keen to make it clear that Shannon is not under arrest, saying:
"She's free to go home whenever she wants, but she doesn't want to."