Renfrewshire News has agreed with a local children’s charity that we will remove missing person appeals for children and teenagers once they have been located by the authorities.

In Renfrewshire, every year, a number of children can go missing. Sometimes the same child can disappear more than once in a year.

Children go missing for a number of reasons like a family breakdown, bullying or a change in care placement. However, If the child is in care, the people looking after those kids have a duty of care to report the child as missing immediately.

In most cases they may know where they are and are probably safe and traced within hours.

A person who has been reported missing and then found, maybe later on in life, on some occasions show up on news and social media sites in articles when a search is made for their name. This search can also be carried out by future employers, friends, or people with malicious intent.

We were given an example of one adult from Renfrewshire, who went missing four times in one year whilst they were living in a children’s care home.

This person would go and spend time with family and friends without saying where they were.

Now they are an adult who is married and has children of their own they can still find themselves in search engines. The results are mostly reports of a missing person’s appeal appearing in all local news sites, including Renfrewshire News.

The person said they were horrified when a friend informed them that they could be found online when they searched for their name.

“For me that was a long time ago, a different me. I shouldn’t be reminded of a time I don’t like to think about. Same with the others just now who are in shoes. We were children.” She told us.

Ricky Kelly, Renfrewshire News editor, said: “We are currently reviewing older articles and removing those where we believe it would be right to do so.

“We’re been told that the missing persons name may be searched by future employers, friends, or people wishing to cause them harm.

“Sharing a photo, a full name, age and location is necessary to find someone quickly and safely.

“When a missing person has been found we will removed the missing persons data by setting a 2 week limit on the article, including any linked articles.”

We’ve been asked not to name the charity or the woman who told Renfrewshire News their story.

 

 

 

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