Treating the causes of missing and not just the symptoms is vital in protecting those most vulnerable
Many of you will have experienced being so overwhelmed by a situation you feel the need to escape. For most of us we can gather our thoughts, step away or book a holiday. But this is not the case for everyone.
For some people the answer is to remove themselves from the situation, and in doing what they feel is best, they neglect to share their plans or tell someone where they are and that they are safe.
To their family and friends they are missing.
In Wiltshire 10 people go missing every day, some go missing once, whilst others go missing frequently. Each incident is a worry for friends and family, and each incident places demand on police services.
This week the Wiltshire Police awareness campaign #BeyondtheBeat focuses on missing people, the underlying reasons behind missing, and the action taken by the police along with partners to locate and ensure that each individual is safe.
For most people, the decision to leave is not a rational one.
It is a symptom of a problem a vulnerable person may be experiencing.
It can happen to anybody irrespective of race, religion, gender, age, or sexual orientation and police along with partners spend a huge amount of time and resources investigating and locating individuals.
It is not a crime to go missing, but rightly when that person is vulnerable, at risk from themselves or others it is only right that the police step in to safeguard them.
It is important that we continue to look past the individual episodes of missing to see the bigger picture and the causes behind the symptom.
For some it could simply be a misunderstanding or getting lost. It could be mental health illness, or illnesses like dementia or Parkinson's. For others it could be the impact of hidden crimes like cybercrime, child sexual exploitation, county lines, modern slavery, domestic abuse or fraud.
Treating the causes of missing and not just the symptoms is vital, which is why protecting the most vulnerable people in society is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan.
I am committed to working with Wiltshire Police, local authority partners and the voluntary sector to ensure that identifying the causes behind missing remains a key focus across Wiltshire and Swindon, and provision is in place to better understand the reasons behind missing from those directly involved.