Thursday July 19 2018
Hundreds of lives are being put at risk each year because adults with mental health problems are ‘found and forgotten’ after going missing, according to a Parliamentary Inquiry.
Ann Coffey – head of the ‘Inquiry into safeguarding missing adults who have mental health issues’ by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults – said that going missing should be a ‘red flag moment’ which ought to trigger help.
But instead tens of thousands of adults nationally are left alone and isolated with no support on their return home.
There are about 126,000 incidents of adults going missing annually. Up to 600 missing people a year are found dead: the most commonly known cause being suicide.
The inquiry heard that about 80 per cent of adults who go missing are experiencing mental health problems and up to one third go missing again.
Ann Coffey MP has received an assurance from the Government that cuts to train services at Heaton Chapel station will be reversed in time for Christmas.
Ms Coffey, MP for Stockport, wrote to the Government expressing concern about cuts in services from May 20 and chaotic timetabling, which threatens dangerous overcrowding on platforms.
Jo Johnson, the rail minister, has now written back to Ms Coffey.
“Due to unforeseen infrastructure problems the delivery of the Bolton electrification project has been delayed. Network Rail has recently advised us that this project will be delivered during September/October 2018 which will allow for the timetable improvements to take place from December 2018.
“Completion of electrification on the Bolton corridor should see restoration of four trains an hour towards Manchester at these stations.”
Ms Coffey welcomed the reassurance but said:
“I will be monitoring this latest pledge closely.
“It is good that we can see light at the end of the tunnel but until December my constituents will continue to endure commuter hell with unacceptable reductions in services and chaotic timetabling resulting in big gaps at peak periods and the fear of crowd control problems.”
Heaton Chapel, in Ms Coffey’s constituency, is one of the busiest stations within Greater Manchester with over 800,000 passengers per year. Northern rail bosses are devising plans to deal with potential crowds at Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme stations when services at both stations are temporarily cut from four to three trains an hour from May 20 due to delays in the electrification of the Manchester to Preston line.
Ms Coffey said she was disappointed that Mr Johnson’s letter did not properly address all the points in her original letter, particularly the dangers of crowd control problems caused by the bunching up of services. For example, all three trains during the morning rush hour will arrive at the station within a 15 minute window and then there will be a large 49 minute gap between the 8.35 and 9.24 peak morning services.
In his letter Mr Johnson merely admitted: “There are still challenges around the spread of services, which we will be working with Network Rail to attempt to improve.”
Ms Coffey added: “This is rather vague. I will hold the government to this as there are major concerns about the chaotic timings of services and the dangers of overcrowding that poses for local rail users.”
Tuesday May 8, 2018
The government has broken a promise to cut soaring numbers of children being “farmed out” to children’s homes vast distances from where they were brought up and live.
Ann Coffey, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, will use a Commons debate today (Tuesday) to say there is growing evidence that “a sent away generation” of vulnerable youngsters are in danger of falling prey to paedophiles and drugs gangs.
The government pledged to clampdown on so called out of borough placements five years ago but there has been a 64 per cent rise nationally in the number of children being sent to live away between 2012 and 2017.
There has also been a huge increase in the number of sent-away children going missing with the number of missing incidents more than doubling to almost 10,000 a year.