Rise in number of missing people found dead is deeply concerning.

The rise is alarming & each number is a person someone loves.

September 16th 2023.

Rise in number of missing people found dead is deeply concerning.
A national charity has revealed a staggering increase in the number of missing people who will never return home. According to a report from the Missing People charity, the number of missing people who were found dead increased by 40% in the past five years.

The charity compiled data obtained by Freedom of Information requests to 11 police forces across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The most common cause of death was suicide, either known or suspected, accounting for almost half of the fatalities.

Karen Bone, from Waterlooville in Hampshire, remembers the uncertainty and grief her family experienced when her son Matt went missing in March 2018. “Your immediate reaction is that there is a simple reason for your loved one going missing,” she said.

Matt left home wearing only a jumper and carrying a small rucksack. He checked into a hospital near his family home in Widlow, Hampshire, and then travelled to the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire. His body was found in a nearby field two years later. West Mercia Police said at the time that the death was not being treated as suspicious.

Karen believes that more could have been done to prevent her son falling off the radar. “The different agencies need to be aware of each other and to do handovers at the appropriate time," she said.

The figures from Missing People indicate that troubled minds are a key factor behind the rise in deaths. When the ‘unknown’ cause is removed from the figure, two-thirds of deaths were because of known or suspected suicide.

Jane Hunter, Missing People’s head of research and impact, said: “These new figures indicate a deeply worrying rise in deaths. Behind each figure is a loved one. Around 170,000 people are reported missing each year in the UK, many of them more than once. This is a significant issue and means that someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. Going missing is a crisis.”

The charity has identified that the crossover between services is key to preventing people from vanishing off the radar.

On Monday, the government announced a new strategy, comprised of 100 measures, to reduce England’s suicide rate within two and a half years. The Department of Health and Social Care said the NHS had already set out an ambition to grow the mental health workforce by 73% before 2036.

Missing People is a valuable source of support for families making appeals for loved ones. If you are missing, or affected by a disappearance, you can text or call Missing People on 116 000. It is free, confidential and non-judgemental.

The charity hopes that their figures will be consistent with those from the National Crime Agency’s UK Missing Persons Unit.

Karen Bone said, “More awareness and understanding are so desperately needed. People are going missing every day. They need professionals to join the dots. They need to know services like Missing People exist. That support could find them – and could help save them.”

The government has committed to more than 100 measures to reduce the number of suicides, including a focus on prevention and earlier intervention as well as more targeted and proactive support for people in crisis.

If you would like to support Missing People, you can donate at www.missingpeople.org.uk/donate.
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