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The cost of missing person investigations

Research produced by Dr. Karen Shalev Greene and Professor Carol Hayden, June 2013

The cost of missing person investigations has been the subject of debate. This article reports a study that sought to establish this cost through a survey of 407 officers and staff in two UK forces and a realistic case assessment undertaken by 33 officers in two UK forces. Both produce cost estimates (£1,325.44 as a realistic minimum and £2,415.80 as a realistic estimate of cost of medium-risk medium-term cases) that are higher than often assumed or previously reported. It demonstrates that missing person investigations are a bigger drain on police resources then either theft or assault. This result is placed into context of current developments such as the commodification and the outsourcing of policing tasks and recent changes in policy involving missing person investigations.

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