The UK Missing Persons Bureau has published high level data reports providing an overview on missing and absent person cases for the financial years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. A full data analysis report and assessment is being prepared and will be published by the end of March 2016.
The data used to produce this report has been taken from both police service command and control systems and missing person systems. Data has been obtained from 44 services in England, Wales and Scotland. Data from Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) is not available.
Further to the introduction of absent in April 2013, for the year 2014/15 the number of police services implementing absent has doubled from 16 in 2013/14 to 32. Equally the number of police services providing complete absent incident data has also doubled from 10 to 20 providing a broader picture than before.
The data for 2014/15 shows a 3% increase in the overall number of command and control missing incidents when compared with 2013/14. This seems to follow 2013/14 where an increase is noted for the first time in four years. Although 16 police services have seen a decrease in the number of missing incidents, 26 services have shown an increase. The remaining 2 forces have yet to provide data for comparison. This equates to 8,345 more records in comparison with the previous year. Initial analysis shows that the highest increases are attributable to a handful of police services. The variation in reported figures from police services over the years will be explored in detail in the full report.
Harm suffered for 2014/15 has been provided by 20 police services compared with 19 for 2013/14. A preliminary consideration of harm suffered categories shows an increase in the recording of sexual offence victims from 109 in the 2013/14 year to 162 in the current year. While this is a significant increase in numerical terms, the increase in percentage is small, 0.3% in 2014/15 compared with 0.2% in the previous year. It is still considered that this figure is well below current estimates of missing children linked to child sexual exploitation. The found safe and well category shows no change in terms of percentages while the actual numbers have increased from 53508 in 2013/14 to 59585 in the current year.
The missing persons data used in this report is continually being received and reviewed, so could potentially differ when the full report is published.
You can download the reports here.