Policy actions  2 of 4

Missing persons framework

In any given year, over 20,000 missing person investigations are conducted in Scotland. Many of these relate to vulnerable people who may be at risk of harm and abuse.

The majority of missing people are returned safe, but we are determined to provide more help to people who may go or who have been missing.

We published our national framework for missing persons in May 2017 which aims to:

  • prevent people from going missing in the first place
  • limit the harm associated with people going missing

This involves improving the way that agencies work together, and building on good practice to safeguard children, young people and adults

We are delivering the actions in the framework, to improve multi-agency working and standardise approaches to risk assessment and return discussions to prevent and limit the harm for those who go missing.

This includes:

  • funding a national development co-ordinator to work in local authorities to help develop best practice and improve how organisations work together to support vulnerable people
  • investing in the development and delivery of return discussion training to frontline staff across local authorities
  • supporting the Missing Person charity to extend their helpline service in Scotland
  • providing funding to the Missing People and Barnardo’s charities to develop education resources for children and young people to highlight the dangers of going missing and where support can be accessed

In May 2018, one year on from the publication of the framework, we published progress being made on our objectives, as well as priorities for the future.

Working group for missing people in Scotland

A working group has been set up by the Minister for Community Safety to assess the national impact of the national missing persons framework, and identify best practice and any gaps which still exist in services.

This brings together representatives and expertise from Police Scotland, Shelter Scotland, Missing People UK, University of Glasgow and Barnardo’s. The group will report to Ministers at the end of their work.

See: working group for missing people in Scotland