Missing People – the Key Facts

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It’s a sad fact that thousands of people go missing each year. The majority are found within 24 hours, but a small number will be missing for a week or longer.

Understanding why people go missing can be a start to helping us find solutions. It can also help us to know where to start looking.

How Many People Go Missing in the UK?

Approximately 176,000 people are reported as missing in the UK yearly. Roughly 100,000 are adults and 76,000 are children. However, it’s likely the true figures are much higher, as it’s thought that many missing people go unreported.

Why Do People Go Missing?

Many people, both adults and children, suddenly disappear. Stress, anxiety, fear, mental illness and violence can all cause people to step away from their everyday lives. And, of course, criminal activity can be to blame.

In general terms people go missing for the following reasons:   

  • Physical or mental abuse.
  • Mental health conditions such as dementia or psychosis, mental breakdowns or self-harm.
  • Relationship problems or breakdowns.
  • Financial problems due to redundancy, gambling issues or simply failure to manage finances.
  • Grooming
  • Alcohol and drug abuse.
  • Victims of crime.

For many, a combination of factors is to blame, and adults and children are equally vulnerable. The problems may arise in the home, the workplace and at school or college.

Are They Missing For Long?

The majority of people reported missing are found or return of their own accord within a week. Only a small percentage remaining missing longer than this, and of these most return within a year.

Of course, sadly, some are found deceased and others are never found. Whilst these are a small percentage of the missing, it’s still an alarmingly high number, given that at least a quarter of a million people in total (possibly more) go missing annually in the UK.

Where Do Missing People Go?

This depends on the circumstances, but it could simply be that they go to friends or family – somewhere they feel safe and protected. Sadly, others may end up on the streets or fall in with individuals who pose a risk – for example in cases of grooming or exploitation.

Some People Simply Move On

There’s another, quite different category of people who can be hard to find. It’s a natural part of life that family members or friends fall out and stop communicating. In other instances, people move away and communicate less until contact is gradually lost.

Parents give up children for adoption, friends move on, get married and change their names and relationships come to an end by mutual and amicable agreement.

In later years those involved may wish to reconnect with friends or loved ones, but this can be extremely difficult to do without help.

Who Can Help You Find an Old Friend or Family Member?

Trying to find someone after many years is a difficult and emotional task. Even so, tracing a loved one doesn’t have to be unfeasible. It’s certainly much easier with expert help.

Relative Connections specialises in locating friends, relatives or anyone you need to track down (someone that owes you money, for example).

And, we understand that searching for a missing person is a traumatic and sensitive issue for many. That’s why our people finder service isn’t just about the missing person; it’s also all about you.

Depending on the circumstances using a tracing company to try and locate a missing person might not be appropriate. We are happy to speak to you and discuss your search to see if we feel we can help. If we can’t we can try and signpost you to other organisations that could help you and offer support.

If we can help and if you chose to work with us, your personal researcher will keep you informed and support you through the whole process.

Call us for a chat on 0113 282 5900.