Nicola Bulley: How many people go missing in the UK every year?
Nicola Bulley has not been seen since disappearing while walking her dog by the river in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on the morning of Friday January 27.
Her case has been described by the head of a team of underwater experts searching as “so unusual” but it is not uncommon for someone to go missing in the UK.
The 45-year-old’s partner, Paul Ansell, issued a new appeal on Monday for information after the diver Peter Faulding said he “doesn’t think” she is in the Wyre.
Mr Faulding told the BBC: “Normally when we deal with a drowning victim, they are where they go down. I would expect to find Nicola in the water right in front of the bench where she went down. She would not have moved, maybe two or three feet.”
How many people go missing in the UK every year?
The police definition for missing is “anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed”.
According to charity Missing People, someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. This means 170,000 people are reported missing every year – about 70,000 of whom are children.
Looked-after children are at high risk of being reported missing, with one in 10 looked-after children reported missing compared with one in 200 of all children. And any looked-after child who is reported once will, statistically, go on to be reported another five times.
“Most of the people who are reported missing may be experiencing some kind of vulnerability or risk,” the charity has said. “This can be exacerbated by being missing, particularly where someone goes missing more than once.”
The charity was able to come up with the figures by analysing the National Crime Agency report for 2019-20. It has said that figures reported by the police are likely to be lower than the true figure.
Around 80 per cent of missing children are found within 24 hours and only 2 per cent will be missing for longer than a week. Around 85 per cent of adults are found within two days and 5 per cent will be missing for longer than a week.