Police launch text help plan for missing people

People who are reported missing and potentially in crisis will now receive a text message from a Samaritan within minutes thanks to new service by Northumbria Police.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 4:32 pm
Det Chf Insp Lynne College

The force has teamed up with charity Missing People and the Samaritans in a bid to reach out to missing people with the Suicide Risk Text Safe project.Officers responding to a missing persons report will notify Missing People who can then send an independent message offering them advice and support from a Samaritan.Det Chf Insp Lynne College, of the force's safeguarding unit, believes the scheme will help save lives.

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She said: "Already we are seeing the benefits of this system and I have no doubt it will help save lives. We work tirelessly to help those who are vulnerable in our society but we can't do it alone.

"It is with the support of our fantastic partnerships that we are able to provide wrap around care from the right professionals.”She added: "Often in a mental health crisis people don't want to be contacted by police and this is an excellent way of being able to reach out to those in need."

Beth Hodges of Missing People said: "Our partnership with the Samaritans has enabled us to reach many missing people at a point of crisis in their lives. We strongly believe that these are essential and lifesaving conversations and are pleased to be working in partnership with Northumbria Police to support those who need us most."The initiative is being rolled out as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.