New Training on Person Centred Responses to Missing People

What is Person Centred Responses to Missing People?

Our Business Development Team delivers high-quality workshops and training courses to multi-agency professionals. This includes police, education, NHS, Local Authorities, and care home providers. They upskill professionals in how to provide the best possible response when someone disappears. Recently, they developed new training on Person Centred Responses to Missing People for police.

The development of this training was funded by the Home Office and the content was reviewed by the National Police Chief’s Council, UK Missing Person’s Unit, and Vulnerability Knowledge & Practice Programme. The training is for Police staff who respond to missing people, children, or adults.

People affected by missing and family members with a missing loved one co-developed and were central to the training. They discussed how their experience affected their mental and physical health and their experiences of dealing with police. Those affected also shared what police can and should be improve.

Two brave family members also joined an interactive Q&A panel and police forces were given top tips about how families would like to be communicated with.

Discussing the training, delegates highlighted:

“The family members telling their side of things makes it ‘real'”

“Hearing the lived experience – it is difficult to listen to, however, this is where police can learn the most. The training created an environment where people have time to think and process, away from the demands of daily work. This offers an opportunity to refocus and take a step back to see the impact that missing has and how important it is that we get it right from the beginning and throughout.”

Why is this training needed?

This training was developed in response to Impact of Police Cuts on Missing Person Investigations (2021) by Mark Greenhalgh and Dr Karen Shalev Greene. This report recommends establishing a rolling programme of training or inputs that highlight the need for police to treat missing ‘cases’ individually.

The research which involved almost 400 officers found that:

  • 1 in 5 officers (20%) involved in missing persons cases have not had any training in this area
  • Almost 75% of officers stated they would benefit from more training

Impact on Policing

  • Strategic review of policing in England & Wales (March 2022)
  • Police devote upwards of three million investigation hours per year to missing persons reports (England & Wales)
  • The equivalent of 1,562 full time police officers per year
  • Estimated annual cost of between £394m and £509m

The discussions in the break-out sessions in the training generate engagement and scenarios encourage attendees to think how they could change their responses to make them more person centred. Our team share good practice examples from across the country and ask delegates to pledge what they will commit to change.

All of our training promotes the free services provided by Missing People and how agencies can use and refer to us, so that we can be a lifeline when someone disappears.

One delegate said “I will ensure that I sign post them to yourselves as I was not aware of these other services that were available”.

Police feedback

We are really proud of the consistently positive feedback we receive from our delegates. Thus, highlighting why more professionals should attend this training and that there is a real need. When asked, those who attended shared the following feedback:

What would you say to another force who is considering attending this training?

“Do it. Sometimes in the rush of having to attend the vast volume of jobs we have we forget how we would feel in these circumstances. Taking a step back just emphasises how our Police involvement impacts peoples’ everyday lives. Just being able comfort families’ members in those difficult times means a lot to them.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity and everyone working with missing people and their families should make time to attend.”

What will you do differently in your work with missing children and adults as a result of attending today’s training?

“Keep the person at the heart of everything we do.”

“After listening to families, I will actively change my language for clarity when giving updates and information.”

“Take into account the family perspective when someone is missing. Try to give more information, more frequently so the family can be kept updated with developments.”

Contact us

If you are interested in finding out more about this training or any of our other events for professionals, please email consultancy@missingpeople.org.uk or click the button below to find out more!

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