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Ofsted's Missing Children report in February 2013 (archived) stated that children represented approximately two thirds of the estimated 360,000 missing person incidents in 2009-2010.
Children in care are said to be three times more likely to go missing from their home than children who are not in care.
Many children who go missing stay with friends or family members, but there are some who don't have or don't access these support systems, or who are forced to stay in environments that are harmful to their safety and wellbeing, and so end up engaging in activities that may put them at risk.
Missing children are more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse, criminality and homelessness. We know from high profile child exploitation cases that persistent missing episodes may be an indicator of exploitation.
The four Safeguarding Partnerships in the West Mercia area and West Mercia Police have developed a joint working protocol for reporting missing children and young people.
For further information see the relevant links and documents on this page.