British and Portuguese police should join together as one team to investigate the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the Met Police Commissioner has suggested.
Currently Scotland Yard is running its own inquiry into what happened to the little girl, who vanished while holidaying with her parents in Praia da Luz in 2007, while the Portuguese authorities have their own investigation.
The Portuguese shelved their inquiry into her disappearance in 2008, but last month said that a review had uncovered enough new information to justify reopening the case.
Madeleine and a computer generated image of how she may look now
Today, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "One thing we'd like to see in the future is a joint investigation team which comes under the European community. It is a possibility legally, and we're working together at a political level, and at a police and judicial level, to see how we can construct that.
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"There are two separate inquiries with a different focus - we've got one particular set of lines of inquiry and they have a different one. But it's important that we work together on what is clearly a common problem.
"It's a formal arrangement, it allows officers from each country to work in the other country, it gives them powers associated with that, and it's an efficient way of doing it.
"If you're not careful, you end up doing things on an ad-hoc basis, and for us it would be better to have that type of arrangement. So that's what we're trying to get agreement between the two governments and the two police services."
British police received hundreds of calls and emails after recent renewed television appeals for information in the UK, Holland and Germany.
They appealed for help trying to trace a man who was seen carrying a child towards the sea, and a number of fair- haired men who were lurking around the holiday apartments where Madeleine was staying.