Skip to content
New website

We are in the process of building a new website , which will be live in 2022. View our services currently available.

Quick exit


Print this Page

Date published - 31/07/2019

To receive a downloadable version of this letter please include the reference number and contact

Information Rights

Bedfordshire Police Headquarters,

Woburn Road, Kempston,

Bedford, MK43 9AX


Telephone: 01234 842547



22nd July 2019


I write in connection with your request for information received on 24th June. I note you seek access to the following information:

I would like to request please details of the following:

1) From 2013 to 2018, a year by year breakdown of the number of missing persons and the number of reported absent persons (separated figures e.g. 2000 missing persons and 500 absent persons). If possible, please state the number who were 18 or over and the number under 18 for both the missing and absent categories.

2) Your force policy/guidance on whether a person is reported as missing or absent.

3) While I appreciate it is unlikely you have the data, if you do please provide any data you have relating to the policing costs for missing people and absent people.

Clarification - Cambridgeshire Constabulary does not have separate categories for recording missing and absent persons, therefore we can only provide information on missing persons. Please can I ask you to refine your request?

Thank you for the information as I was unaware Cambs didn’t have separate categories. In which case please provide the information for the years listed just for missing persons , if possible broken to 18 and over and under 18. The force policy for risk assessment for missing persons. And any data for missing person policing costs, although I understand it is unlikely.

I am required by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (The Act) to handle all requests in a manner that is blind to the identity of the requestor. Any information released in response to a request is regarded as being published and therefore, in the public domain without caveat.



Missing people
Year Total number of missing reports  Number of those missing reports that were for people 18+  Number of those missing reports that were for people under 18 
2013 903  370  533 
2014 1002  403  599 
2015 1902  584  1318 
2016 2214  676  1538 
2017 2533  830  1703 
2018 3185  1247  1938 


2) Cambridgeshire Constabulary uses the APP definition for what a missing person is, see below. Missing Person:

Missing - “Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed.”

High risk

The risk of serious harm to the subject or the public is assessed as very likely. This category almost always requires the immediate deployment of police resources-action may be delayed in exceptional circumstances, such as searching water or forested areas during hours of darkness. A member of the senior management team must be involved in the examination of initial lines of enquiry and approval of appropriate staffing levels. Such cases should lead to the appointment of an investigating officer and possibly an SIO and a police search advisor (PolSA). There should be a press/ media strategy and/or close contact with outside agencies. Family support should be put in place where appropriate. The Missing Person Bureau should be notified of the case and Children’s Services notified if the missing person is aged under 18 years. (Compact is designed to do this automatically)

Medium risk

The risk of harm to the subject or the public is assessed as likely but not serious. This category requires an active and measured response by the police and other agencies in order to trace the missing person and support the individual reporting.

Low risk

The risk of harm to the subject or the public is assessed as possible but minimal. Children and young people under 18 years of age should not be included in this classification. 3. Cambridgeshire Constabulary does not record this level of expenditure.

The numerical data presented in this response is an un-audited snapshot of un-published data sourced from "live" systems and is subject to the interpretation of the original request by the individual extracting the data.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter please do not hesitate to contact me quoting the above reference number.

Yours sincerely

Information Rights

Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Constabulary provides you the right to request an independent review of this response under its review procedure. If you require such a review you must notify us within two months from the date of this letter. After lodging a complaint with Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Constabulary if you are still dissatisfied with the decision you may make an application to the Information Commissioner. For information on how to make a complaint please visit or contact them on 0303 123 1113.


Our website uses cookies to improve your experience.