Missing Persons Event Organised By West Mercia Officer
West Mercia Police has organised an important national event for UK police forces who use the Compact IT system for recording and investigating missing person cases.
The conference takes place at the†City of London Police†HQ on Wednesday 17th October and has been organised by Inspector Phil Shakesheff of West Mercia Police.†
Police officers from some 33 UK police forces and their partners who work in the arena of missing person investigations will come together to share best practice in this critical area.
Inspector Phil Shakesheff, Deputy Chair of the Compact user group, said: "People with mental health issues and hospital patients represent probably the most vulnerable members of our communities and it is vitally important that the police and other agencies have robust arrangements and protocols in place to respond effectively when they are reported missing.
"Recent research reveals that around†100 mentally ill patients in England kill themselves every year after going missing, therefore it is very important that we all learn any lessons we can from these tragedies".
West Mercia Police has received more than 700 reports of missing hospital patients in the last 12 months and many of these were compulsory Mental Health Act patients; some went missing on repeat occasions.††
Another growing issue to be highlighted at the event is that of vulnerable adults with dementia who go missing. Those at the conference will learn†more about an exciting project - the Neighbourhood Return Project.
All agencies need to understand what the best strategies are to reduce numbers of† missing persons and keep vulnerable people safe. The conference will be hearing from several knowledgeable and passionate speakers including Chief Constable Simon Cole (Leicestershire Police), who is ACPO lead on Mental Health issues and Chief Constable Patrick Geenty (Wiltshire Police), ACPO Lead on Missing Persons. Professor Len Bowers of Kings College London will also be attending.†
- An in depth†study earlier this year conducted by the University of Portsmouth for West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police established that the average cost to forces†for†each missing†person investigation was £2,400.
Issued: Tuesday 16 October 2012