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Missing Persons (15246/19)


1.The number of missing persons cases currently open 2.What that number of cases was in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 3.For the cases that are currently open, I’d like to know how many relate to males, how many to females and how many to under-18s

For questions 1-3, please provide the answers in an Excel spreadsheet with headings as follows:

‘Number of missing person cases current’ ‘2018’ ‘2017’ ‘2016’ ‘2015’ ‘Current cases: male’ ‘Current cases: female’ ‘Current cases: under-18’

I’d also like to know the three longest-running, unsolved and still open missing persons cases on your files.

For each of those three cases, I’d like:

  • The person’s identity, nationality, description, age, occupation and anything else known about them •Where they were last sighted •When they went missing and in what circumstances •Status of the investigation currently, including when police last took action in relation to it and the nature of that action •Copies or details of any public appeals made, if available and disclosure of the number of appeals issued in relation to the case •Any images released to the public linked to the person concerned, or if not released, any images that the force would be willing to disclose in the hope they can help to trace the individual



Our data are not organised in such a way as to allow us to provide this information within the appropriate (cost) limit within the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act (see ‘Reason for Decision’ below).

Although excess cost removes the force’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill I have supplied information, relative to your request, retrieved before it was realised that the fees limit would be exceeded (see attached). I trust this is helpful, but it does not affect our legal right to rely on the fees regulations for the remainder of the request.


Please note that researching each individual case would exceed the appropriate limit (FOIA, s.12).  To locate and retrieve data regarding the three longest running, unsolved and still open missing cases would require a manual search of paper files which would exceed the FOI time limit.

The cost of compliance with the whole of your request is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond, i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information would exceed the appropriate costs limit under section 12(1) of the FOI Act 2000. For West Midlands Police, the appropriate limit is set at £450, as prescribed by the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, S.I. 3244.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here: