The ArgusChanges in the way police deal with missing people following Sussex's lead (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Changes in the way police deal with missing people following Sussex's lead

Police forces across the country will change the way that they deal with missing people following failures in cases such as the Rochdale child sex ring.

Plans announced today will stop officers getting called out to around a third of missing people cases.

The aim is to free up officers' time and to improve the way forces deal with children who repeatedly go missing from care, and might fall prey to sexual abuse.

Pilots of the new system have been carried out by Sussex Police for three years.

Chief Constable Pat Geenty, the lead for missing people for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said: "Whenever we get a call and someone is reported missing, we would normally dispatch a police officer, irrespective of the circumstances of the case. So you see that's a huge demand on police resources."

Police deal with around 327,000 reports of missing people per year, the equivalent of around 900 per day, two thirds of which involve children.

Under the plans, call handlers will class missing persons cases as either "absent", when a person simply does not arrive where they are expected to be, or "missing", where there is a specific reason for concern.

This can be that the disappearance is out of character or that they may be at risk of harm.

Mr Geenty said police are sometimes used as a "collection service" for children who go missing from care homes.

See the latest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Follow @brightonargus

The Argus: Daily Echo on Facebook - facebook.com/southerndailyecho Like us on Facebook

The Argus: Google+ Add us to your circles on Google+

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:50am Wed 20 Mar 13

mimseycal says...

So what are the criteria? How does the reference that Police are sometimes used as a "collection service" for children who go missing from care homes (and I assume this includes foster homes) fit in?
So what are the criteria? How does the reference that Police are sometimes used as a "collection service" for children who go missing from care homes (and I assume this includes foster homes) fit in? mimseycal
  • Score: 0

9:22am Wed 20 Mar 13

emma_barnes says...

Very regular issue - "Police here - we have located the person you reported missing in Kent/Hampshire/Surre
y etc - please collect them" - Reply "I;m the only member of staff on duty in the home - You will have to transport them". They then list loads of excuses such as - not allowed to call staff in - social services cant help after 3.55pm - cant use a taxi as they ran away from one before. Then a police unit (double crewed) drives the 50 - 100 miles to care home.
Very regular issue - "Police here - we have located the person you reported missing in Kent/Hampshire/Surre y etc - please collect them" - Reply "I;m the only member of staff on duty in the home - You will have to transport them". They then list loads of excuses such as - not allowed to call staff in - social services cant help after 3.55pm - cant use a taxi as they ran away from one before. Then a police unit (double crewed) drives the 50 - 100 miles to care home. emma_barnes
  • Score: 0

9:39am Wed 20 Mar 13

mimseycal says...

I know that foster carers are not allowed to go look for children that are late home from school say and MUST call them in as missing according to Social Services guidelines.
I know that foster carers are not allowed to go look for children that are late home from school say and MUST call them in as missing according to Social Services guidelines. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree