New national development coordinator to help prevent people going missing

A national post to help prevent people going missing has been created with £70,000 in Scottish Government funding.

The national development coordinator will work with local authorities and other organisations to improve collaboration on supporting vulnerable people.

Police Scotland investigate around 23,000 reports of missing people a year and the new post is expected to help reduce this figure.

The Government has also set up an independent working group for missing people, made up of experts in the field.

Ash Denham MSP
Ash Denham set up the new group (Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament/PA)

Chairwoman Professor Hester Parr said: “The working group will assess the national impact of the National Framework for Missing People in Scotland to identify best practice in Scotland and the gaps which still exist in the provision of professional services to help missing people and their families.”

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said: “Families and friends of those who go missing face a huge trauma, particularly when their loved-one remains missing long-term.

“The majority of missing people are returned safely within a couple of days but we must continue to improve how we safeguard and support the most vulnerable in Scotland.

“The work of our new national development coordinator and working group will build on recent progress and enhance multi-agency working to improve outcomes for missing people and their families.”

Susannah Drury, of the Missing People charity, said: “Every day, around 55 children and adults are reported missing in Scotland.

“While missing, these people are at higher risk of coming to harm, and their families are plunged into a terrifying limbo, not knowing whether their loved one is safe.

“It is vital that every one of these people receives the response and support they need, wherever they live.

“So Missing People is grateful for the funding from the Scottish Government to recruit a new national development coordinator who, guided by the new Independent Working Group, will help local partners across Scotland work together to make missing people safe and provide the help their families need.”

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