Northamptonshire Police is recruiting for a permanent youth worker
A police force has appointed a permanent youth worker to its missing persons unit following what it said was a successful pilot scheme.
A youth worker carried out follow-up visits to every young person who went missing over a three-month period in Northamptonshire.
Northamptonshire Police said none of the 52 people visited were missing again.
The force said three-quarters of them accepted the offer of more support.
The young worker was based at Northamptonshire Police and the Fire and Crime Commissioner’s Office (PFCC) during the trial period, but the specialist will now be based within the force’s Missing Persons Investigation Unit.
“We wanted to allow young people to be heard, and to see if by listening and trying to figure out what is wrong — and, more importantly, helping them solve these problems — we could prevent this from happening,” said Augusta Ryan, senior early intervention practitioner at PFCC. They will disappear again.
“The pilot scheme involving 52 young people gave us every indication that this approach would really prevent someone from disappearing repeatedly.”
The specialist visited each young person who had been missing three or fewer times shortly after their return, as part of the trial trip. In each case, there was also a legal visit from the local council.
The PFCC office said all the youths were between 14 and 15 years old.
Governor Stephen Mold of Northamptonshire PFCC said: “When a young person goes missing, it significantly increases the risk that they will become a victim of or involved in crime.
“This project is a great example of how early intervention can protect young people, and I am pleased to see that it has already succeeded in supporting more than 50 young people.”