A long-awaited law to help relatives of missing people is to be finally enacted in July next year after a long delay.
Ann Coffey, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children, who has been campaigning for eight years for a law that would allow families to look after their missing loved ones financial and legal affairs, said that the start date could not come a moment too soon.
She said the law was desperately needed as an estimated 2,500 families are currently struggling to sort out their relatives’ bills, mortgage payments and other red tape.
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.
The number of children being sent to live in children’s homes outside their own borough has soared despite a government pledge to clampdown on distant placements.
Ann Coffey, the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Missing Children and Adults, said the latest figures were ‘bitterly disappointing’ coming four years after the government said it would reduce the numbers.
A high proportion of children placed miles away from their home area go missing and are at risk of harm.
According to Parliamentary answers obtained by Ms Coffey from the Department for Education, there was a 56 per cent increase nationally in children placed in children’s homes out of their borough from 2,250 in March 31, 2012 to 3,510 in March 31, 2016.
The total number of looked after children increased from 67,050 in March 2012 to 70,440 in March 2016. During the same period the number of children placed in children’s homes increased from 4,890 to 5,940.