Consular News Embassy 59
Tracing missing foreign nationals in the UK
One person is recorded as missing every two minutes in the UK consuls learned at a Consular Corps Missing People seminar hosted at the Belgian Embassy in cooperation with Rowland Brothers International.
Joe Apps, Manager of the UK Missing People Bureau explained how his organisation works with consulates in London and British consulates and police authorities abroad to find the missing and identify the found.
Since the UK joined the Schengen Information System II in April this year, the Bureau is able to issue a Europe-wide alert on missing people and have access to vital data that can help trace a missing person.
The Bureau works closely with Missing People, a charity that raises public awareness when a person goes missing.
Lucy Holmes, the research manager at the charity, explained the resources available to consuls when a foreign national goes missing, from posters to social media.
For their ‘Big Tweet For Children’ the charity encourages the public, including celebrities with thousands of Twitter followers, to retweet missing person appeals.
Holmes also recommended consuls sign up to the Child Rescue Alert (CRA) system which issues alerts when a child goes missing in the UK and is in imminent danger.
Two-thirds of missing people (140,000) involve children and young people, including complex cases of parental child abduction.
Consuls were advised by Jacqueline Renton of the charity Parents and Children Together (PACT) on appropriate legal measures to take when assisting a citizen to prevent a potential child abduction case or steps to take when a child has been abducted.
UK Missing Persons Bureau: tel 01344 630556, http://missingpersons.police.uk
Missing People: helpline 116 000,
PACT: visit www.pact-online.org
Child Rescue Alert: http://childrescuealert.org.uk/