We are currently experiencing network problems with the desktop version of Police Oracle. We hope to have these resolved as soon as possible.

NHS and Police Scotland cut missing person call-outs by 29%

Police Scotland have stepped up work with the NHS to improve search times for missing people.

Coordinated work by Police Scotland and NHS Lothian has reduced the number of missing people from hospitals in Edinburgh by 26%.

Scotland has a high rate of missing people with around 23,000 investigations each year. Most are found within 48 hours.

The average amount of policing hours spent looking for an individual who goes missing from an acute health unit is over three hours. This figure rises to 15 and a half hours for those who absconded who go missing from mental health care units.

The response by Police Scotland was based on analysis was undertaken by the force between 2014 and 2015 into the time and resource devoted to tracing those who left the grounds of hospitals. Included were the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital and Western General Hospital.

The result was a joint campaign which included posters in prominent locations and leaflets that outlined what happens when someone goes missing, the costs involved and what people could do avoid becoming a missing person.

The campaign also warned that family members, friends and even work colleagues may be contacted to establish their whereabouts.

And a basic procedure has been introduced where people who were attending hospital cannot leave without first notifying staff.

The campaign was backed up by agreed information sharing protocols which enable enhanced risk assessment to each missing person case.

The initiative has led to a 29% reduction in missing people from Edinburgh’s hospitals enabling Police Scotland officers to focus on crime investigations and saving budgets.
Chief Inspector Neil Wilson from Edinburgh Division said: "The reasons why a person goes missing are often complex and varied and the purpose of this initiative was as much to understand these issues, as it was deterring people from becoming a missing person.
"We, along with our partners, felt it prudent to  inform the public about what actually happens once they are reported missing and what that means for their family, friends and colleagues, as well as the staffing hours incurred by police and NHS staff.”

He added that the partnership working had been critical to success.
Chief Inspector Wilson said: "The support this project has received from NHS Lothian has been outstanding and demonstrates a real commitment to joint working. And they have demonstrated a real commitment to mitigating against people going missing from their premises.  
"It is great to see this initiative having such a positive impact, however neither agency will become complacent in our efforts, as we continue to work together to minimise the number of people who go missing from Edinburgh's hospitals. "

Leave a Comment
View Comments 2
In Other News
Public backs Police Scotland's COVID-19 response
Reforms risk Police Scotland's independence, former auditor warns
Police Scotland completes roll out of mobile notebook devices
Officer injured in Glasgow knife attack discharged from hospital
Police Scotland officers justified in use of PAVA, says PIRC
Armed police shoot man after officer knifed in Glasgow attack
Scottish Federation says officers are 'political pawns' in statue protests
More News