1,485 reports of people missing in Shropshire last year

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Figures released by the National Crime Agency's UK Missing Persons Bureau show calls to report people going missing in the UK have increased by 17 per cent.

In the financial year 2015/16 police forces in England, Wales and Scotland received 375,694 calls reporting people missing, compared to 321,992 in the year 2014/15.

And in Shropshire for the same period, more than 1,485 reports were made relating to missing people. This means that officers in West Mercia Police were informed that more than four people a day were reported missing in the Shropshire area.

Of these 86 per cent were found within 24 hours and 53 per cent related to children aged between 12-17.

Last year a Freedom of Information request revealed that more than half of the 653 reports of missing children in Shropshire involved children in care.

The calls in England and Wales related to 135,382 separate individuals, equal to 370 people going missing every day.

The percentage of cases resolved within 24 hours rose to 79 per cent with the proportion of individuals missing for more than a week falling to two per cent.

Children and young people accounted for more than half of missing incidents, 93 per cent of whom were aged between 12-17.

The rise in the number of reports is due in part to improvements in police recording practices and the decision to combine missing persons and 'absent' persons data in the figures.

Chief Inspector Jennie Mattinson from West Mercia Police said: "People who go missing are often some of the most vulnerable members of the community. With any missing person, our first priority is ensuring they are found safe and well. We then look at any underlying reasons behind why they went missing.

"A review of the way we respond has allowed us to better identify underlying issues with regards to missing people and working with partner agencies to put support in at an early stage."

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