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Changes to missing person cases

Police forces in England and Wales are to stop sending officers to every report of a missing person, to focus only on people whose disappearance is out of character or thought to be at risk.

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Police 'must identify patterns' in missing person cases

Regardless of whether the police classify a child or young person as missing or as absent, it must be recognised that there is always a wider safeguarding issue.

Current evidence suggests that it is important for police to ensure that a missing persons co-ordinator is in place to monitor patterns and identify risk, that return home interviews are provided for missing and absent children and young people, and that police work closely with statutory and voluntary sector partners across the different categories.

– Jo Youle, Missing People chief executive

Figures from the pilot showed that under the new system around a third of missing people cases are likely to be classed as "absent", and therefore officers will not attend. In one force 31% of cases were classified as absent, and in another 39%.

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