There are nearly 15,000 missing incidents reported to Police Scotland every year, with the majority of these being medium to high risk missing persons. Many more incidents go unreported. In 2020-2021, over 40% of investigations related to someone who has been missing more than once, and nearly 50% of investigations related to children. Most of the harm suffered by missing adults and children in Scotland relates to mental health. Moreover, Scotland sadly had 117 fatal outcomes from missing incidents in 2020-2021, which is a greater number than the 58 victims of homicide in Scotland in 2020-2021 (NCA UK Missing Persons data 2020-2021).
Launched in May 2017, The National Missing Persons Framework was the first of its kind in Scotland. Its aim is to build on existing good practice from professionals around missing by existing as guidance with regard to the following aims:
Missing People is uniquely placed to support the Scottish Government’s work in implementing The National Missing Persons Framework. We are the only national charity that supports missing and returned children and adults as well as their families left behind. We have supported every stage of the development and implementation of the Framework, including being a key member of the Framework Development Steering Group.
We have a strong working partnership with Police Scotland, with a renewed partnership signing in 2018; and we are in receipt of multi-year funding from the Scottish Government to raise awareness and use of our services for young people, which has led to increased use of our services by young people.
Since July 2019, we have been working in partnership with Scottish Government to deliver a programme of support to professionals working with missing adults and children, in accordance with the National Missing Persons Framework. The National Missing Persons Framework Implementation Project was delivered in three local areas – Dundee, Edinburgh and Fife, between July 2019 and March 2020, and North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Moray, between April 2020 and March 2021. We worked with an additional five local areas Dumfries and Galloway, East Dumbartonshire, North Ayrshire, Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, and Edinburgh from April 2021 to March 2022. In April 2022 to March 2023 we worked with nine local areas in West Lothian, East Lothian, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling, South Ayrshire, Dundee, Perth and Kinross, and Glasgow.
The project is comprised of the following activities:
Professionals across Scotland also have access to our online National Missing Persons Framework Toolkit developed as part of the project, containing resources and multi-agency good practice from across Scotland for supporting and responding to missing children, adults and their families.
We hold a free annual national conference to share good practice on missing across Scotland, as part of the project. Previous conferences have included speakers from Scottish Government, Police Scotland, those with lived experience of missing, Barnardo’s, Alzheimer’s Scotland, Missing People, and local leads on missing from areas across Scotland.
“I am much more aware of The Framework and how to support people who have gone missing and return. Today has been really informative and I have a lot to reflect on to make changes to my practice and develop my skills and knowledge.”
– Conference attendee, 2021
Our project reports demonstrate the impact and scope of our work with multi-agency professionals in local areas across Scotland, to date.
For information about how our Missing Specialists can help your local area, please visit our Commission Us page.
If you’re interested in us working with you to deliver consultancy or training in your local area, get in touch.Contact us
Back to the Toolkit