Friday, 16 October 2015

Yesterday (15th October 2015) the Royal Society of Arts released its report Safer Together: Policing a Global City in 2020

By Anna Collins, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Missing People

In the context of imminent budget cuts to policing in London the Metropolitan Police Service have some tough decisions to make whilst ensuring that residents, workers and visitors in London are safe.

The latest data shows that there are almost 39 000 missing incidents reported in London per year. Most missing people are vulnerable and being missing makes them more vulnerable. The police play a vital role in ensuring their safety through investigating each missing incident, finding missing people and making them safe.

The links between people going missing and crime are so strong that preventing and responding to missing incidents must remain an essential element of the police’s strategy to prevent and reduce crime. When a person is reported missing it is not always known what the risks may be. The most serious risks include child sexual exploitation, gang exploitation and violent crime – seven in ten children who have been sexually exploited have also been reported missing, and one in three missing adults are threatened or harmed while missing. The police need to fully investigate and respond to every missing incident in order to safeguard vulnerable missing children and adults.

Whilst trying to manage the huge budget pressures this police and other forces are facing we agree that there is a very strong case for increased joint working, which can be facilitated through co-location of services, with other agencies and the voluntary sector.  Indeed, Missing People works in partnership already with the Metropolitan Police Service as well as other forces and will continue to do so to ensure that every missing person is found safe. The police play a vital in role in finding vulnerable missing people and making them safe. We urge the police to continue to prioritise this part of their responsibilities.

Read our response to the consultation here.

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