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Is it a crime to go missing?


If listening to this has made you want to talk to someone like Emma, you can call Runaway Helpline on 116 000. It’s free, 24/7 and confidential.

Is it a crime to go missing?

“Anyone that goes missing or runs away that is under 18, isn’t going to be in trouble. But that’s not to say that the police won’t sometimes get involved and its only because people and organisations, sometimes social services and your family and stuff, they’re just really worried about you and that you’re maybe not in the place that you’re meant to be.

Because when you’re under 18, you’re still classed as a child and you have to be in the care of someone that’s able to look after you… and you know not always, it’s not always the case that the people that are looking after us are the right people. But if you leave and decide to run away, you’re probably going to be reported missing to the police. You might have had a bad experience with the police or something but you won’t be in trouble with them, although they might, people might get a bit upset with you, but you know you’re not actually in any trouble. Not within the law anyway.”

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