Sergeants had not read missing persons 'at risk' guidelines


Half of the police officers responsible for determining the degree of risk in missing people cases have not read national guidelines on how to handle such cases, according to a report today.

Police sergeants are responsible for overseeing the initial stages of missing persons investigations. However, in the police force examined for the research, 51 per cent said they had not read the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) guidelines on assessing risk, and 49 per cent had not read the force’s own guidance documents.

The findings are in a report by Richard Smith and Dr Karen Shalev Greene from the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth. Dr Greene said: “Decision-making is all too often subjective and inconsistent.”