A CHANGE in the way police handle missing persons cases will benefit those who are most at risk.
That is the view of Staffordshire Police following the announcement of the changes which will see officers only deployed to incidents where the disappearance is out of character or the person is thought to be at risk of harm.
The police have taken the decision to save time and resources.
Staffordshire Police was one of three forces which has taken part in piloting the scheme since January.
The news has been met with concern by groups including the NSPCC, but the police insists ‘other local services’ will be better prepared to help out those not thought to be in danger.
Detective Chief Inspector Helen Jones, from Staffordshire Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People department, said: “National research shows that young people rarely open up to police officers or social workers so this approach is better able to determine if children are exposed to risk, such as through internet bullying or sexual exploitation.
“More than half of those seen receive support from other local services.”