Missing Persons: Racial Discrimination

Home Office written question – answered on 24th March 2023.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has taken recent steps to tackle potential racial bias in missing person investigations.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Minister of State, Home Department

People that go missing include some of the most vulnerable in our society. The Government is determined that missing people and their families receive the best possible protection and support from statutory agencies, including law enforcement, Government, and the voluntary sector.

The Government acknowledges that the most recent data published by the National Crime Agency, covering the period 2020-21, indicated that Black people are disproportionately affected by missing incidents: http://missingpersons.police.uk/en-gb/resources/downloads/missing-persons-statistical-bulletins. This aligns with the findings from The Ethnicity of Missing People report, which also indicates the over-representation of Black children in care in missing reports.

To improve the police response to missing people from all backgrounds and address racial and ethnic disparities, the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) works with police forces across England and Wales, the charity Missing People and the NCA Missing Persons Unit to consider these issues and what action is needed.

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