Police to create UK-wide missing persons register after IoS campaign
New database aims to offer runaways more protection
Sunday 15 September 2013
Police are proposing a radical overhaul of the way in which missing person inquiries are conducted in Britain, and the setting up of the first ever nationwide system to systematically record the details of people who vanish without trace.
Some 200,000 people disappear each year, the majority of them under 18, according to a report from the UK Missing Persons Bureau (MBP) released this month. But the report also warns that official statistics are “underestimates of the actual national picture, as police forces advise that some missing person’s cases may be recorded on command and control systems under other incident types”.
The decision by senior police officers comes just months after The IoS led calls for a national database of the missing, to help prevent children from slipping off the radar and suffering abuse.
Getting a proper national picture of the problem is vital, according to experts. “We continue to look at ways of enhancing our understanding of missing data and are actively looking at creating a national register and database,” said Patrick Geenty, Wiltshire’s Chief Constable and a spokesman on the Association of Chief Police Officers’ missing persons policy. “This will be one of our goals for 2013/14,” he said in the MBP report. Mr Geenty explained that the move is part of a wider overhaul, with a “huge amount of effort” being made to ensure that police responses are “proportionately targeted, properly resourced and correctly investigated”.
The decision was welcomed by politicians and campaigners last night. Ann Coffey MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing People, said: “The development of a national computer [database] would be a big improvement on what we’ve got now.”
Poor collection of data, and problems in information sharing between different areas, were raised by a parliamentary inquiry last year as issues that prevented children being kept safe.
Most missing people are found, but children are vulnerable to being abused or harmed during their time away from home. Around one in four ends up in a dangerous or harmful situation, according to campaigners. Ellen Broome, policy director at The Children’s Society, said: “Thousands of children are placed in care homes every year. Many end up running away, and it is vital that police forces in different areas can share information about these missing children.”
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
New York police shooting: thousands turn out for the funeral of Rafael Ramos
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...