The latest National Crime Agency (NCA) statistics paint a vivid picture of missing persons in the UK. While the news is that it’s still true that in over 96% of cases, a person who has been reported missing returns safely, the remaining 4% are cases of tragedy and uncertainty for the families and friends of those still missing.
Missing persons facts
National Person Finder has been sifting through the latest figures to discover that:
- NCA statistics reveal that every day the UK police deal with more than a thousand missing persons calls. From our own records at National Person Finder we can also recognise that there are peaks and troughs in people going missing. Deliberate disappearance (where people plan to leave their lives and start again) often happens at the beginning of a new year or just before a significant anniversary or event – e.g. wedding anniversaries, redundancy, or children marrying (especially where a wedding requires a parent to be in the same room with a divorced partner for the first time). While the police record missing persons, they are rarely able to spend time establishing the kind of background profile that can lead to an understand of whether they are dealing with deliberate disappearance or something else – this is one point where a private detective can be of immense assistance when hired early in the proceedings.
- Gwent Police Force has the highest rate of missing children reports in England and Wales. They recorded 3,559 incidents in 2015/16, which is a 21% rise on the previous year. However the force suggests that the change is more due to improvements in the way incidents are recorded than any change in numbers.
We can also say that when children go missing, family abduction is by far and away the largest cause. As our next story shows, when families fall apart, children often become an area of dispute. American studies reveal that fathers are responsible for 53% of family abductions, and mothers for 25%. The remaining abductions are carried out by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and – very rarely – siblings. More good news is that around 46% missing children are returned within a week. A further 21% are restored to their families within a month, often with the help of a private investigator.
US Teenager finds out he’s a missing person
Julian Hernandez began filling in college application forms soon after his 18th birthday. However, his social security number was rejected as not matching his name and he asked a school counsellor to help him work out how to complete the forms. Instead she discovered that he was listed as a missing person by the American National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.
When he was just five years old, in 2002, Julian had been abducted from his home, which he shared with his mother, in Alabama, by his father who took him to Ohio and changed his name, giving him a false identity. While his mother waited and hoped, never given up the belief she would find her son again, Julian grew up with no idea he’d been taken without consent. In a heartwarming conclusion to the story, Julian asked the judge not to send his father to prison saying growing up without his mum had been painful but ‘taking him away from me is doing the same thing all over again’.