It’s a shocking statistic that an average of 71 children go missing in West Yorkshire every single week.
The majority of these are runaways who – for a whole variety of reasons – feel they must flee their homes or carers and put themselves in highly-vulnerable situations on the streets or in unsafe locations.
Thankfully, the latest figures for Bradford show that the number of missing people reported to police fell considerably last year, but the fact remains that there are still too many young people putting themselves in potentially dangerous situations.
So it is a welcome move from Bradford Council that they are to sign up to a Runaways Charter, created by the Children’s Society, which should help give clear advice and guidance to those agencies who might become involved in the case of a missing child.
The charter would ask authorities such as Bradford Council to provide children with information on safe places where they can get support if they have a problem at home or school that is edging them towards running away from their troubles.
There can be many reasons why children are unhappy, ranging from bullying to abuse. It is vital that we give our young people as much information as we can about where they can seek help so that they feel there is a support network available to them and that simply throwing themselves on the mercy of the streets is not the only answer they have.
If problems can be solved before they grow too big, then there is less chance of children putting themselves in even greater danger.