Working to support missing people and their families
Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. As a police force we work with charities, partners and mental health services to help locate missing people.
We feel it’s important for you to know about the help provided by charity Missing People, which offers assistance to people who run away or go missing.
The national organisation, which also provides practical and emotional support to families impacted by missing people, has made some changes to its services this month, most notably their helpline hours have changed to 9am to 11pm, operating seven days a week.
The free and confidential helpline was 24/7, but has been updated in line with demand and challenges faced during the pandemic.
“Like many charities, Missing People has had to adapt to a rapidly changing context in 2020-21,” a spokesperson from Missing People said.
“We are proud that we have been able to continue to support missing people and families throughout the past year and kept all our services open while the team all moved to full home working.
“However, like most charities the fundraising environment has been and will continue to be challenging, with many areas of our income hit by CoVID-19.
“At the same time, we have needed to respond to changes in how people want to access support – with much increased demand on digital services. We have therefore made changes to how our services will operate in the future.”
The charity is now offering increased digital support via its new website resources and new online support options for families.
Message wording for their TextSafe service has been updated so that missing people know the charity’s new opening hours.
TextSafe is a safeguarding tool requested by police forces, which reaches out to vulnerable missing children and adults and lets them know about the support available to them. The text is sent from Missing People rather than the police, therefore those who might be hesitant to contact the police still have access to assistance from a neutral confidential charity.
The latest figures show referrals from West Midlands Police for the TextSafe service dropped by just over 25% in the first quarter of the year (January to March) compared to 2020, due to the impact of coronavirus. This drop was reflected by police forces nationwide.
Last year we helped reunite thousands of missing people with their loved ones. We recorded a total of 12,695 missing people reports in 2020 - that’s roughly one every 40 minutes.
We also helped reunite thousands of missing people with their loved ones and located 12,639 people.
For support, information and advice from WMP click here.
For more information on Missing People and its services, visit www.missingpeople.org.uk.