Police to change the way they investigate missing people
Police are to stop attending every report of a missing person to focus on cases where people are deemed to be most at risk.
Around 900 people a day are reported as missing - and forces have to investigate each one.
But from next month police will launch a full investigation only where the disappearance is thought to be "out of character" or the missing person is believed to be at risk.
Under new guidelines issued by Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), people will either be categorised as "absent" and their cases will be monitored, or "missing" and their cases will be fully an investigated.
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Pat Geenty, chief constable of the Wiltshire force who speaks for Acpo on missing people, said the current policy of launching full investigations "irrespective of the case" was "a huge demand on police resources".
Around two-thirds of all missing people reports involve children, and under the new plans each force will have a specialist missing person co-ordinator whose role will include working with local councils and finding out if children are going missing regularly.
The changes will apply in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
Children's charity NSPCC has expressed concern about the changes, and called for a more "joined-up" approach to protecting vulnerable youngsters.