Text message service helps police locate missing people

Police in Northumbria have voiced their support for the use of text messages to help locate missing people.

Independent charity Missing People has unveiled a new SMS operation dubbed ‘TextSafe’. By requesting a TextSafe, vulnerable missing children or adults can be sent a text direct from Missing People as opposed to the police, explaining how they can get in touch with the charity for free.

In doing so, those people who may be hesitant to contact the police will still have access to help from a neutral and confidential charity, northumberlandgazette.co.uk reports. It’s hoped the service will encourage the missing person to contact the police, their family or social services of their own accord.

Detective superintendent Lisa Orchard, of Northumberland Police, said: “[Vulnerable missing people] can contact these agencies and let them know they are safe and well and they will pass that information on to us and help our inquiries.

“Our priority with missing people is always their safety and welfare. This system will hopefully go a long way in helping officers locate missing people more quickly and easily in the future.”

Everyone currently registered by Northumbria Police as a missing person will now be sent a TextSafe. Moving forward, it’s hoped that the SMS service – or others like it – will reduce the number and duration of missing episodes across Britain, northampton-news-hp.co.uk notes.