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Missing Person Appeals - 721/21

Date Responded 29 June 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. How many missing persons incidents resulted in a public appeal issued by the police force during the following periods:
April 1st, 2020 - March 31st, 2021
April 1st, 2019 - March 31st, 2020
April 1st, 2018 - March 31st, 2019
April 1st, 2017 - March 31st, 2018

Please provide the figures for each of these periods broken down by ethnicity of the missing person who is the subject of the appeal, eg White, Black, Asian, South East Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, mixed race, other, unknown.

By the term 'public appeal', I mean any method of publicity employed by the force to ask members of the public to come forward with information or raise awareness, such as posters, online adverts, posts on social media, press releases, etc.

2. Can you please also tell me if the police force has any formal guidelines or policy to decide when a missing persons case should result in a public appeal?

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Communications & Engagement Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021
Total - 37
White British - 32
White European - 1
Asian - 1
Afro-Caribbean - 1
Unknown/unrecorded - 2

1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
Total - 30
White British - 27
Unknown/unrecorded - 3

1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019
Total - 34
White British - 30
White European - 2
Asian- 1
Unknown/unseen - 1

1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018
Total - 57
White British - 48
White and Black African - 1
Asian-Vietnamese - 1
White and Black Caribbean - 1
Asian-Bangladeshi - 1
Black Caribbean - 1
Any other Asian background - 1
Unknown/unseen - 2
Declined - 1

* Please note categories used are set by the Home Office.

2. Within the Force’s Missing Persons Procedure there is guidance around the need to consider media appeals. This is an operational decision taken on a case-by-case basis.

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.

The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

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