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Missing children

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There is no one definition of missing, however the police say anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until they are located, and their wellbeing is confirmed.

All reports of missing people are ranked from ‘no apparent risk’ through to high risk cases that require immediate, intensive action. 

We work with various agencies, including the police, health, social care and safeguarding professionals, to prevent children going missing and to understand the reasons children may go missing.

When a child goes missing, we work with all these professionals to try to resolve the situation.

Potential risks that can lead to a child going missing:

  • Family and peer relationships
  • Accommodation problems
  • Educational issues
  • Mental and physical health
  • Experience of violence
  • Risk of sexual/criminal exploitation
  • Trafficking
  • Contact with abusive adults or risky environments
  • Substance misuse
  • Coercion or control
  • Sexualised risk taking
  • Risk to others
  • Lack of engagement with services
  • Involvement with crime
  • Honour based violence
  • Forced marriage
  • Radicalisation
  • Concerns over child protection.

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