When you’re desperate to find a missing person in London, you’ll know what it feels like to want all the help you can get and, though the police will be a key component of the search, resources are often overstretched meaning that they cannot be as effective as you need them to be.
In Scotland, however, the missing persons story is a different ball game – 99 per cent of those reported missing in the past year were found within a month. So what’s the key to their success? Well, according to the Daily Record, it’s about listening to those who they do find and come back, and also not leaving it just to the police.
As part of the National Missing Person Framework for Scotland, the agencies involved conduct in-depth returnee interviews, to try to better understand the psychology involved for those who go missing, whatever the reason.
Professor Hester Parr from Glasgow University, who helped to create the framework, said: “If it’s left as a police matter, then none of those causes, motivations and drivers are addressed and it just repeats.”
The police have even admitted some of their own shortcomings in this area, with one inspector from the missing person’s unit saying that though they are good at finding people, they’re not necessarily good at the ’emotional’ side of things. They carry out ‘safe-and-well checks’ after a missing person is found, but it’s a different concept to these in-depth return interviews, which may also help those who have gone missing from doing so again.