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Missing Persons (3259/20)


Missing People makes this request pursuant to s.1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘FOIA 2000’). We write to request the following information:

  1. Does your force have a method of recording whether or not a missing person has settled immigration status and/or is an asylum seeker?
  2. Does your force have a formal policy in place in relation to how missing persons who do not have settled immigration status are recorded on the Police National Computer, or on your force missing person database, upon reaching the age of 18 (for example, where an unaccompanied asylum seeking child is reported at the age of 16, and they are still missing when turn 18. Does their “status” change, and if so how?) yes / no / I’m not sure;
    a)If the answer to question 2 is yes, please disclose the name of the policy and outline how long it has been in force;
    b)Please provide us with a copy of the policy;
  3. If the answer to questions 2 is no, please explain what most often happens when a missing person who does not have settled immigration status turns 18, including how they are recorded on the Police National Computer or on your force missing persons database.
  4. Please could you tell us:
    a)The number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were reported missing in your force area in 2018/19
    b)Since the start of 2016/17, the total number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children who were missing at the time they turned 18
    c)How many of the children included in question (b) had their case closed or changed to an immigration enquiry at the age of 18 while still missing
  5. Please provide any further relevant information about your force’s policy or practice in relation to missing children who do not have settled immigration status turning 18.


Please be advised that the information that you have requested is not all available in a readily retrievable format. In relation to question 4, missing children can be flagged as unaccompanied juveniles, however, this is process is optional. Therefore, to ascertain the requested information would require manually reviewing each individual case on our missing persons database.

This means that the cost of providing you with the information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond i.e. the cost of locating and retrieving the information exceeds the ‘appropriate level’ as stated in the Freedom of Information (Fees and Appropriate Limit) Regulations 2004.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this letter acts as a Refusal Notice for this part of the request and if one part of a request exceeds the fees limit then S12 of the Act applies to the whole request.

Further information on section 12 of FOI is available here:

However, in accordance with Section 16 of the Act I have a duty to provide assistance in relation to your request, therefore, I have approached our Missing Persons team who have provided advice in relation to the remainder of your request. Please see attached document.

This should not be taken as a precedent that additional information would be supplied outside of the time/fees legislation for any subsequent requests.