Police Scotland roll-out new scheme to help find missing children

The scheme is named after the patron saint of babies, infants and youths. Credit: PA

Police Scotland has rolled-out a new scheme to help find missing children.

The Philomena Protocol, which is named after the patron saint of babies, infants and youths, was the first of its kind in the UK after being introduced by Durham Constabulary in January 2019.

The protocol is designed to focus on children and young people living in care and foster facilities.

Staff, families and friends are designed to compile a list of information which could be used in the event of a young person going missing.

The Philomena Protocol has been developed following the success and learning from the Herbert Protocol, an initiative to support adults who are at risk of going missing.

Inspector Alasdair Paterson from Police Scotland’s Partnerships, Preventions and Community Wellbeing Unit, said: "Whenever a child or young person is reported missing, time is of the essence when trying to find them and often the first part of an investigation is spent obtaining a variety of pertinent information.

"While there is an onus on parents, guardians and carers of children to ensure this information is accurate and up to date, the young person whom the form relates to can and should also contribute.

"This may help them understand how important their safety is and the level of police resource that is used whenever they are reported missing, not to mention the distress it can cause for their loved ones and care givers."

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