A NEW report has revealed a rise in instances of children going missing from home in Bradford and a reduction in those involving looked after children. 

The figures are due to be discussed by councillors next Wednesday. 

On a West Yorkshire level, figures show that between the beginning of April 2017 and the end of March 2018, there were 21,402 recorded “missing persons occurrences”. 

This covers both adults and children, representing an increase of 5.5 per cent compared to the previous 12 months. 

“There has been a concerted effort over the last 24 months across partners to improve our local arrangements for children missing from home and care,” says the report.

“We are now in a much stronger position to prevent, protect and ensure there is the correct level of provision in place to address the issue.”

In looking at children who are reported missing from home in Bradford, the report says that between September 2017 and March 2018, there were 1,003 missing episodes involving 540 individual young people.

It adds: “Over the last six months from April 2018 to October 2018 there have been 1,109 episodes involving 394 individual young people.”

This marks an 11.2 per cent increase in missing episodes in that six-month period, but a decrease of 27 per cent in individuals going missing. The report reveals plans for a “missing surgery” from January 2019, which will target children and young people who have been missing from home for the first time.

It says: “This approach was successful in Wakefield and resulted in only four out of 169 young people having another missing occurrence across an 11 month period.

This involves a PCSO visiting the home of a first time missing young person to hand deliver a letter inviting them to a meeting at a central police station.

When the young person attends with their parent they are shown a presentation on the impact and potential risks associated with missing where this is appropriate.”

Of looked-after children, the report says: “Between September 2017 and March 2018 there were 740 missing episodes involving 98 individual looked after children living in Bradford (including those looked after by other authorities and placed in Bradford). 
“Over the last six months from April 2018 to October 2018 there have been 609 episodes involving 58 individual young people.”

This marks a reduction of 18.1 per cent in missing episodes and a 40 per cent drop in individual young people going missing.

The report highlights that Bradford mirrors the “well documented” national trend of an increase in missing incidents over the summer months.