It's not until you try to find a missing person in London that you come to realise just how many cases come to light each year. In fact, according to the BBC, there are around 55,000 case every year, and increase of 72 per cent compared to a decade ago.
Of these 55,000, around 80 per cent are found within 24 hours and often without police involvement, however, they still raise costs for the Metropolitan police. In fact, the Met spend between £70 million and £130 million on missing persons cases each year.
With reduced police budgets, the result is that the police are now taking a stronger risk-based approach to looking for missing persons. With a medium risk case estimated to cost between £1,325 and £2,415, and a higher risk case much more demanding on resources, therefore costing more, the police are working on a case by case basis, identifying risk as early as possible so that resources can be attributed to the right place at the right time.
Acting Chief Inspector Sally DeHaan said that the number of cases were “unsustainable”, adding: “many missing persons who are reported to the police who shouldn't be".
As an example, the number of cases of under-18s reported missing in the year ending March 2018 sat at 28,600, despite involving only 9,000 individuals. Children in care can be reported missing multiple times every month, as they often stay out away from their placement, and their carers are bound by their care contracts to get in touch with the authorities.
If the police do fail to help you locate a loved one who is missing, then consider employing a private investigator with a proven track record.