REVEALED: Missing person reported 'almost every hour' for a year in South Yorkshire
A person was reported missing almost every hour in South Yorkshire last year, official figures show.
South Yorkshire Police received 7641 calls reporting 'missing or absent people' between April 2015 and March 2016 - just short of 21 calls a day and nearly one an hour.
The county force had the 13th highest number of calls on a table of 43 police forces across England and Wales. A new dedicated 'Missing Persons Hub' is now set to be launched to enable police and council staff to work more closely on locating missing people.
The figures were revealed in data from the National Crime Agency, which revealed 335, 624 missing person calls were made to police forces across England and Wales in 2015/16. These numbers represent a 15 per cent increase on the previous 12-month period.
The NCA said its latest report was its "most complete assessment to date" of people going missing in the UK.In addition, the organisation has also published data for the first time that examines why people go missing.It shows that one in five people who disappear nationally are reported to have some form of mental health issue. Meanwhile, abduction and relationship issues are also two of the most common reasons why people disappear.
Claire Cook, from the charity Missing People, said: "If someone goes missing it signals there's a problem. For adults, the common issues are mental health problems and relationship breakdowns, whilst if a child goes missing it's often a sign that there's something wrong at home."What's clear is that it's not just the police that have to deal with missing people, this is a societal issue and one we have to tackle together."
Temporary chief superintendent Shaun Morley, force lead for missing people, said: “We work very closely with a number of organisations with the 'South Yorkshire Missing Persons' protocol in place, which South Yorkshire Police and the four local authorities in the county have agreed and is seen as national best practice.
“We are also just about to introduce a dedicated Missing Persons Hub in Sheffield, which will see specialist resources from both the police and Sheffield Council co-located, to provide an end to end and thorough service in locating missing people and prevention work to take place to reduce the risk of them going missing in future.”