07 December 2011
Government launch new stategy to protect and support missing people and their families
This week, charity Missing People has welcomed the launch of the Government’s Missing Children and Adults’ Strategy. This is a landmark event for the protection of the estimated 250,000 people who go missing each year in the UK, as well as the families they leave behind.
James Brokenshire MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime and Security, launched the strategy at the charity's Central Office in London. He was joined by families of missing people including Peter Lawrence, father of missing chef Claudia Lawrence, and Rachel Elias, sister of missing Richard Edwards from the band Manic Street Preachers.
It is hoped that the new strategy will reduce the number of people who go missing and protect the missing whilst they are away. It will also aim to reflect the approach used for victims of crime, giving the families of missing people access to support.
Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Missing People said, “Historically, if your house was burgled you would automatically get offers of support, but if your child went missing you may have got nothing. This strategy will change that.
“Every police force and government agency must now see missing children as a child protection issue and vulnerable missing adults as a safeguarding issue. The Home Office is to be commended, now local practitioners must follow suit.”
Going forward, the police will be required to signpost families of missing people to any help available. This will include the vital lifeline that Missing People provides 24 hours a day, as well as other services such as family counselling. It will also include other specialist agencies, such as CEOP for online protection of missing children and PACT on parental abduction.
The launch follows 12 months of campaigning by Missing People. Martin Houghton-Brown concludes, “We are delighted that this launch begins a new way of looking at the needs and rights of missing people across the UK.”
Your continual support of Missing People allows the team to work alongside the government and make a real difference to the lives of many. To date, Missing People has received over £1.2 Million from players of the Postcode Lottery. This is a real lifeline to the team and to the hundreds of missing people and families across the country.