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Missing persons

missing personMore than 30,000 missing persons cases are handled by Police Scotland every year.

Although most people are found or return safe and well, going missing can indicate underlying issues. Missing people are also at more risk of harm.

There are recognised links between going missing and child sexual exploitation, trafficking, mental health, and other issues such as domestic abuse and family breakdown.

It is a complex issue and that is why we are working jointly with a range of agencies including Police Scotland, Barnardo's Scotland, Missing People and Shelter Scotland to develop a National Missing Persons Strategy.

Acting as a focus for partners to work together to deliver change, it will support preventative approaches, and strengthen the response to cases while supporting and protecting missing people.

The Strategy - structured around four key themes of Prevention, Response, Support and Protection - will help to raise awareness of the many causes of going missing, and of the associated dangers.

The Strategy was launched on August 27 2015 and is available here. The consultation closed on December 7.  You may view the published responses to the consultation here.

The Strategy consultation concluded in December 2015, and responses have been published where respondents have given permission.

50 formal responses to the consultation were submitted, and further feedback was received through social media,  and through local consultation events across Scotland which reached about 250 stakeholders.  An evaluation of the feedback received was carried out and a full report developed.

A final Strategy will be developed, and we are working with local areas to develop an action plan to underpin the Strategy’s proposals.

A national Steering Group is in place which will oversee this work, and is leading on some key areas including:

  • A national definition of ‘missing’

  • Guidance on return interviews

Following the consultation, we will update this page with further information.

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