New figures released by the National Crime Agency’s UK Missing Persons Bureau (UKMPB) show an almost 20% increase in calls to report people going missing in the UK and a 30% increase in the number of missing person incidents in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight*.
In the financial year 2015/16 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland received a total of 382,855 calls reporting people missing, compared to 321,992 in the year 2014/15. The calls in England and Wales related to 131,429 separate individuals, equal to 359 people going missing every day.
In Hampshire (including the Isle of Wight), the total number of calls received in 2015/16 was 12,078. The number of missing person incidents increased 21% for adults from 2,108 to 2,545 and 9% for children from 4,795 to 5,206. Of the 7,751 total incidents, 4,261 separate individuals were involved.
Nationally the percentage of cases resolved within 24 hours rose to 79% with the proportion of individuals missing for more than a week falling to 2%.
Consistent with previous years, the analysis shows that children and young people accounted for over half of missing incidents, 94% of whom were aged between 12-17.
The report also highlights an increase in cases relating to unidentified individuals, bodies or partial remains notified to the UKMPB – up to 63 from 46 in 2014/15. 40 of these cases have since been resolved.
Data is not directly comparable to previous years, however despite the limitations on the data received, the latest NCA report is the most accurate to date.
Joe Apps, head of the NCA’s UK Missing Persons Bureau said:
“This is the most comprehensive missing persons data report that we have published. We are working continuously with police forces to improve recording practices and computer systems.
“New police guidance, due for publication this autumn, will provide clarity around definitions and risk categories and should lead to further improvements.”
The NCA’s UK Missing Persons Bureau is the only UK law enforcement body focused exclusively on missing people. The Bureau serves police forces and the public by providing expertise to assist investigations and helping resolve cases.
It is also the central point of contact for international missing person and unidentified body cases.
*The rise is due in part to improvements in police recording practices and the decision to combine missing and ‘absent’ data in the figures