Home Secretary Theresa May was joined by campaigners and celebrities at a Downing Street reception to launch two new support services for missing children.
The event, held ahead of this year’s International Missing Children’s Day tomorrow, saw campaigners and supporters meet to mark a new free helpline (116 000) and a website designed to support missing children and their families.
The Home Secretary and lead Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone were joined by representatives of charities Missing People and Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), and also Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP), who marked the event with the launch of new advertisements for the MissingKids website on London taxis.
One year on
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘Missing children are vulnerable and deserve the best support and protection we can provide.
‘We in government have played our part with our Missing Children and Adults Strategy, which sets the direction for local services. And on last year’s International Missing Children’s Day we announced that we were strengthening our response by moving operational responsibility for missing children to CEOP from 1 July last year.
‘I am delighted that, a year on, we are able to support the launch of the new MissingKids website in partnership with PACT, as well as Missing People’s new 116 000 helpline. Both services will bring much needed support to those most in need of help.’
Progress made in supporting missing children
Home Secretary Theresa May was among those who addressed the group about progress made since the government transferred responsibility for missing children to CEOP last July.
These new tools are part of that progress and are in direct response to the government strategy on missing people, launched last December.
The confidential helpline, provided by charity Missing People, is a 24 hour support service which missing children and their families can call or text to get access to advice and support.
The website provides the latest information on missing children, for missing children and for parents or carers of missing children. It has been created jointly by CEOP, PACT and Missing People.