Northumbria Police’s new Missing Persons Team find over 1,400 vulnerable people within four months

Northumbria Police headquarters on Middle Engine Lane
-Credit: (Image: The Chronicle)

A new task force set up by Northumbria Police has located over 1,400 missing vulnerable people this year alone.

Northumbria Police’s Missing Persons Team was set up four months ago – with the team working closely with response officers to help trace and safeguard 1,435 people. To mark National Response Policing Week, the head of the specialist team has paid tribute to response policing teams for the work they do on the ground to locate those missing.

Response police officers are often the first to be called out when a person is reported missing, usually to make initial enquiries and liaise with the person’s family members and loved ones in order to obtain information about where they might be. Teams of officers will then often carry out targeted searches of the areas and locations to try and find the person.

Detective Chief Inspector Kevin Ashurst, who heads up the Missing team, said: “Our local Response Policing teams play a pivotal role in the early investigation of those who are reported as missing. They will often be the first officers which the families of these people see face-to-face once they have contacted us.

“They need to show a clear mind in evaluating the situation which they face as well as showing compassion and care with members of the public who can understandably be very upset and concerned. It is certainly a demanding job, which draws on the various skills needed in policing, and the officers we work alongside display these attributes each and every single day. I know officers derive huge satisfaction in being able to track down a missing person so that they can be reunited with their loved ones.”

DCI Ashurst added: “As a force, we have seen a 17% reduction in the number of missing person incidents in the past year, with a 12% decrease in the number of missing persons. Response policing has in no small way contributed to these figures and I’d like to thank officers in the teams right across our communities for their immense professionalism and the support they provide in our efforts to locate those who are missing.”

Since the creation on the Missing Persons team, a total of 1,435 people who’ve been reported missing in the force area have been found safe and well. If you know of someone who is missing, call Northumbria Police on 101 or go here.