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Investigating a missing person costs police forces an average of £2,415, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Portsmouth also found that the cost was three times more than a violent crime or robbery investigation and four times more than a burglary probe.
Using detailed information from Warwickshire and West Mercia police forces, they found that the cost of investigating missing people was the equivalent cost of 19,188 police constables working full-time nationwide or 14% of full-time UK officers.
There are approximately 327,000 missing person reports to the police in the UK each year - almost 900 per day, according to the UK Missing Persons Unit (Serious and Organised Crime Agency).
The report by the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons (CSMP) estimated that a missing person case would cost £1,325 but analysis of a real-life case showed that the figure would be £2,415.
Dr Karen Shalev Greene, director of the CSMP, said: "Missing person investigations are inevitably resource intensive.
"From speaking to officers, it is clear that there is a persistent impression that even 'routine' missing person investigations can turn out to be rather time-consuming and hence costly."