Yorkshire’s largest police force to focus on those who go missing

The new Police and Crime Plan for West Yorkshire will be published today.
The new Police and Crime Plan for West Yorkshire will be published today.

West Yorkshire’s policing tsar will today unveil measures to reduce the number of vulnerable people who go missing across the county.

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has prioritised the issue as part of his five-year Police and Crime Plan.

Mark Burns-Williamson.

Mark Burns-Williamson.

The document, which sets out the latest priorities for West Yorkshire Police, includes work to tackle crime, prevent radicalisation and safeguard people who are vulnerable to being groomed.

The move to proritise reducing the number of missing people follows a recent investigation which revealed that the equivalent of 67 people were reported as missing each day in West Yorkshire.

The investigation found there were 24,653 reported cases across the region in the 12 months up to June 30.

The reasons why people go missing are complex and can be linked to their mental health, emotional or physical abuse, or exploitation.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “We need to work better to tackle the root causes and prevent people from going missing in the first place.”

He added: “Lots of calls are being taken on this and roughly 20 per cent are deemed to be high-risk.

“Obviously when the police receive these calls they are our absolute priority.

“The Police and Crime Plan has highlighted some of the issues concerning this.

“Clearly the police on their own are not the solution.”

Increasing community cohesion by encouraging inclusivity and building relationships between communities is also a key feature of the report. Mr Burns-Williamson said: “Many of the new priorities in my plan focus on protecting vulnerable people.”