A partnership agreement to ensure missing people and their families are provided with better support has been signed by Staffordshire Police and the charity Missing People today Thursday 26 January.
The agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities for both organisations in tackling the issue.
It details how support to the families of missing people will be provided, including ensuring that families are informed of the role of the charity and the support services available to them.
The force receives approximately 5,000 missing person reports each year. The majority of people turn up safe and well. Many are adults who have chosen to go missing.
However, some individuals are more vulnerable because of their age, health or the circumstances they find themselves in.
Whatever the reason, when a person goes missing, their relatives and friends are left desperate for news that they are safe and well.
Missing People is a UK charity that provides support and advice to families when someone disappears. They offer a range of services to help police forces with their missing person investigations.
Last year they publicised 1,117 missing people at the request of the police and families, reconnected 285 missing children and adults with their families and closed a total of 656 missing adults and children cases.
The agreement also builds upon strategic agreements signed in February 2011 between the charity and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).
Assistant Chief Constable Julian Blazeby said: "It is vital that everyone with a role to play in safeguarding and providing support works together in order to give the right help and advice to those who need it the most.
"It also supports the Government’s expectation that the police will ensure all families of missing people are automatically signposted to support services."
Missing People can be contacted for advice and support on 0500 700 700 or at www.missingpeople.org.uk