There is a recognition that any young person who is missing from home is potentially at risk of serious harm or exploitation. Young people who are in the formal care of the LA are recognised as being at particularly increased risk. This has been a significant feature of the widely reported cases of grooming and child sexual exploitation (CSE). Kate Parkinson (University of Salford) has been involved in the initial evaluation of a new approach to tackling these issues. GMP (Salford Division) officers are working closely with Salford Childrens’ Services staff to ensure that there is a clearer focus on the welfare of young people and engage with them more effectively. The pilot has helped to reduce the number of missing from home episodes and there has also been an improvement in the working and organisational relationships between GMP and partner agencies in this field.
Kate presented the initial findings from this research at the College of Policing on the 11th May 2016 to police officers on a strategic leadership course, who are on track to be the chief inspectors of the future.