People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support; from Government, statutory agencies and the voluntary sector.
The Government’s 2011 Missing Children and Adults Strategy highlighted the importance of this issue and provided a core framework for local areas to consider what more can be done to protect children and vulnerable adults who go missing. These measures are kept under constant review. Protecting and supporting vulnerable missing children is also a key element of our action to tackle exploitation and abuse, including sexual abuse and county lines exploitation, given the clear links between children who go missing and these broader harms.
The existing Police National Computer (PNC) already allows police forces to report a person as missing and for that missing report to be visible to all UK police forces. The PNC is being decommissioned as part of the Home Office led National Law Enforcement Data Programme (NLEDP). As part of this process the Programme, working with the national policing lead for Missing Persons and the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Unit will deliver a National Register for Missing Persons (NRMP) which will provide additional functionality around the reporting of missing and associated found incidents across force boundaries.
The NLEDP will be delivered in phases to mitigate the risks of a ‘big bang’ deployment, beginning at the end of 2020, with the early phases focused on the highest priority functions, including replacing the current PNC capabilities. The anticipated delivery date for the phase including the NRMP is early 2022.
The Home Office does not hold data centrally on the number of people reported missing. Individual police forces hold information about current missing persons incidents. Annual missing persons statistics, including how many children are reported missing, are published by the National Crime Agency’s Missing Person’s Unit:
The NCA intends to publish missing persons data for 2017-18 and 2018-19 later this month (June), with publication of data for 19/20 expected at the end of 2020.