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A lifeline when someone disappears

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Durham Constabulary  signed up to Missing People’s TextSafe® service on the 17th July, and in doing so put in place a potential lifeline for vulnerable missing people across County Durham and Darlington.

TextSafe® is a system devised by Missing People that allows for a text to be sent directly to the mobile phone of a missing adult or child. By informing them of the services we provide, the missing person can choose whether they wish to contact the charity and access their support. 

Gary Ridley, Assistant Chief Officer of the Durham Constabulary, signed the three year memorandum of understanding, allowing any officer in the Durham Constabulary who is dealing with such an incident to simply email Missing People to ask them to send the text. As the text comes directly from the charity, those who might hesitate to contact the police can get help from a ‘neutral’ and confidential place. It may well be that as a result of getting in contact with us, the missing person then decides to initiate contact with the police, their family or social services.

Karen Robinson, Head of Partnerships and Development, said:  “It is great to be working in partnership with Durham Police on this valuable initiative. With their help, we should be able to protect and safeguard many more vulnerable adults and children by connecting them to the support and advice available when someone calls our helpline, 116 000 - it’s free, 24 hour and confidential.”  

It is free for police forces to register for TextSafe® and for them to use it. It is also free for the missing person to call and text even if they have no credit on their phone. Anyone wanting to register for TextSafe® or find out more about the initiative is welcome to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deputy Superintendent Paul Goundry, Head of Safeguarding for Durham Constabulary, said: “The vast majority of people reported missing in our area are usually traced fit and well within a relatively short space of time. But for those who may be at real risk of harm, this service is a very valuable addition to our toolkit.”

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