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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Police time and cost spent tracking down missing people (FOI)

Police time and cost spent tracking down missing people (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 24 August 2015.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


How much money has Jersey Police spent on tracking down missing people, year by year, for the last five years? And how many missing people searches were there?


​No. of missing persons​134132​91​116​124​83​
Total no. MISPER incidents​​721675​365​512​518​263​
​Highest individual count65​130​49​93​40​30​

It can be seen from the above table that in 2010 there were a total of 721 missing person reports created by the police. Unfortunately, we have some individuals, usually juveniles, who go missing regularly. One individual was alone, responsible for 65 of those missing person reports.

A number of people go missing on more than one occasion. This issue has recently been raised nationally in the UK with the police service struggling to respond to the problem, especially  given the financial restraints they are now under.

It is not possible to collate the hours spent (hence cost) by officers conducting the above missing person enquiries as it would entail a detailed examination of each of the 3,054 reported incidents. This would exceed the cost limits in the Freedom of information (cost) regulations.

Incidents can last as little as one hour, with the person returning of their own accord. Other incidents may go on for days with many officers and honorary officers involved in searching and making enquiries. Of the 83 reports so far this year, 13 were adults, 70 were juveniles.

For each report, a risk assessment is completed. This will entail how much police time is committed to finding the individual. Those considered vulnerable and at a high risk of harm, to themselves or by others, will draw on all available police resources, including the Honorary police. Those considered low risk, and who regularly go missing, against the wishes of a parent or the rules of a children’s’ home, will usually make their way home later without any police involvement.


Regulation 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014 allows an authority to refuse a request for information where the estimated cost of dealing with the request would exceed the specified amount of the cost limit of £500. This is the estimated cost of one person spending 12.5 working hours in determining whether the department holds the information, locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

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