Essex: £1m Spent On Missing People

Heart has found out an estimated £1 million is spent every year by Essex Police in finding people who have gone missing.

Around 5,500 cases are reported to the force a year.

However we've been told that figure is going down.

Detective Inspector Nick Burston is one of the protecting vulnerable people inspectors at Essex Police.

She's been telling Heart the majority of those who do disappear are children: "Two-thirds of our missing people are young people and many of those will go missing more than once.

"They are particularly vulnerable because very often the ones who go missing more than once are the ones who are children in need or children who have been placed into care.

DI Burston continued to tell Heart that if they can manage the costs more effectively they will, but the force will do what it needs to do to find them: "When someone is reported missing, and we consider them to be high risk, we won't be going 'the helicopter can't fly today because we haven't got any money'.

"If we need the helicopter, and it's appropriate, we will have the helicopter; if we need a dog, and it's appropriate, we will have the dog."

Heart's got hold of the figures a year on since the disappearance of Anthony Stammers in Colchester.

The 27 year old was last seen leaving his home on Mile End Road at around 10am on May 27th 2012.

Essex Police say they will never close a missing persons case until they have further evidence.