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Politicians should appreciate police’s non-crime workload

Nick Smart WYPF chairmanWest Yorkshire Police dealt with 6,631 reports of missing persons last year, new figures show.

That’s 18 calls every single day.

A detailed breakdown of the figures shows that the 6,631 incidents related to 4,799 different individuals – 2,332 adults and 2,467 children.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said the Government needs to understand the importance of non-crime-related work that the police service carries out.

He said: “This is about the protective services part of our role, which is not appreciated by the Home Office.

“Around 80% of what we do and our demand is not crime-related. Politicians do not seem to understand this.

“Looking for missing people is massively resource intensive. There is also a risk to our members involved in management positions around decision making when looking for missing people with such a volume of complex cases.

“Particularly inspectors are under pressure to make critical decisions without the benefit of hindsight.

“We are working with the force to see how we can best support officers involved in the search and investigations around missing people. And how to best protect their decision making.”

A report by the National Crime Agency’s Missing Persons Bureau showed that nationally, there were 315,517 missing person reports in the last financial year – up from 307,418 the year before.

That works out as more than 6,000 missing persons reports each week – or 864 a day.

Nationally, children and teenagers accounted for more than half of all cases (54%).

Three quarters of reports were resolved within a day and 85% within 48 hours.

The majority (96%) of people reported missing were found safe and well.

For the first time the figures for England and Wales include a breakdown of how many individuals were the subject of those calls.

The 275,000 calls received by forces related to 137,000 separate individuals, meaning a number of cases involve people going missing multiple times.

Date posted: January 13, 2016

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