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A video aimed at discouraging people from going missing and to highlight the support that can be offered has been produced by Staffordshire Police and broadcast on video-sharing website YouTube.
Every year Staffordshire Police responds to around 5,000 reports of people who have gone missing. Fortunately the vast majority return home or are found within eight hours of being reported missing and 83 per cent are missing for less than 24 hours.
The majority of missing people are children. In 2009/2010 just over 3,331 reports (involving 1,028 individuals) of under 18s were received.
The seven minute video includes an interview with a police search advisor describing their work when an individual goes missing and an interview advising people against going missing and the different agencies that can help.
The force believes that the popularity of YouTube among young people means posting videos could be the most effective way of getting the message across.
Det Ch Insp Helen Jones said: "As a progressive organisation it is important that we communicate with people in a manner and form that they recognise and relates to them and their lifestyle.
"I see this development as a commitment to getting important messages to as wide an audience as possible in our communities. As we develop in this area we will be posting further video clips that people will find informative and of value to them."