Children who go missing are particularly vulnerable to all sorts of risk. Where a child has gone missing a report should immediately be made to Cheshire Police via 999. Reports of missing people are taken very seriously by Cheshire Police a considerable amount of time and resources are devoted to finding the child or young person.
The Cheshire Constabulary’s priority is always to locate the missing child or young person and make sure they are safe and well.
There is a national definition of what constitutes a missing person (including child):
“Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another”.
It should be stressed that most missing children are found very quickly and safely return home.
In the very rare cases when something more serious may have happened, there is a new scheme which aims to help return to children to their homes as soon as possible.
Child Rescue Alert is a new national initiative which aims to help children that have been abducted by triggering an immediate public and media response. It is based on the American system known as Amber Alert.
The target is to raise awareness via the media that a child has been taken, so the public look out for the child, the abductor or any vehicle used in the abduction and support the investigation.
Where a child or young person normally a follow up interview with the child or young person will take place and this is normally undertaken by a specialist independent worker from the charity ‘Catch 22’. This is called a ‘return interview’ and its purpose is to try and find out why the child or young person went missing in the first place and hopefully prevent future episodes.
Pan Cheshire Children Missing from Home and Care Protocol
The Pan Cheshire Children Missing from Home and Care Protocol sets out the multi-agency response to children who runaway from home or care. The protocol can be found via the link: Children Missing from Home and Care