Missing Persons : A handbook of research book cover
1st Edition

Missing Persons
A handbook of research

ISBN 9781138494442
Published January 24, 2018 by Routledge
272 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A missing person is an individual whose whereabouts are unknown and where there is some concern for his or her wellbeing. In the UK, around 250,000 people are reported missing every year, with the majority being children under the age of 18. Despite the fact that missing persons are a social phenomenon which encompasses vast areas of interest, relatively little is known about those who go missing, what happens to them while they are missing, and what can be done to prevent these incidents from occurring.

This groundbreaking book brings together for the first time ideas and expertise across this vast subject area into one interconnected publication. It explores the subjects of missing children, missing adults, the investigative process of missing person cases, and the families of missing persons.

Those with no prior knowledge or professionals with focused knowledge in some areas will be able to expand their understanding of a variety of topics relevant to this field through detailed chapters which advance our understanding of this complex phenomenon, discuss what is unknown, and suggest the best and most important steps forward to further advance our knowledge.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Abbreviations

Notes on Contributors




Chapter 1: Children Missing from Care

Carol Hayden

Chapter 2: Hidden Links? Going Missing as an Indicator of Child Sexual Exploitation

Nicola Sharp-Jeffs

Chapter 3: Child Abduction

Geoff Newiss

Chapter 4: Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Trafficked Children

Chloe Setter

Chapter 5: Geography of Missing Children

Penny S Woolnough and Graham J Gibb


Chapter 6: Intentionality and Missing Adults

Lucy Holmes

Chapter 7: Mental Health Issues and Missing Adults

Penny S Woolnough, Llian Alys and Francis Pakes

Chapter 8: Missing People with Dementia: Combining New and Traditional Responses

Philip Coales and Rupert McShane

Chapter 9: Missing Adults: Asylum Seekers and Human Trafficking

Patricia Hynes

Chapter 10: To Honour and Obey? Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence and Going


Nicola Sharp-Jeffs

Chapter 11: Geographies of Missing Adults

Penny S Woolnough, Olivia Stevenson, Hester Parr, Nicholas R Fyfe


Chapter 12: Managing a Missing Person Investigation

Charlie Hedges and Karen Shalev Greene

Chapter 13: Search and Rescue

Dave Perkins, Pete Roberts and Colin Hope

Chapter 14: Risk Assessment

Naomi Eales

Chapter 15: Cold Case Investigation

Louise Vesely- Shore and Jane Birkett

Chapter 16: Missing Abroad

Joe Apps

Chapter 17: Forensic Identification

Sue Black and Jan Bikker

Chapter 18: Disaster Victim Identification

Jan Bikker


Chapter 19: The Emotional Impact on Families when a Loved One Goes Missing

Jo Youle and Helen Alves

Chapter 20: Presumption of Death and Guardianship

Holly Towell

Chapter 21: Resolution of Missing Incidents

Lucy Holmes

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Karen Shalev Greene is the founder and Director of the Centre of the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth. Her research focuses on missing persons and she collaborates with academics, law enforcement agencies and NGOs across the UK and internationally.

Llian Alys is a British Psychological Society Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow, a Full Associate of the International Academy for Investigative Psychology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She currently works as a Research Psychologist providing consultancy on defence and security issues. She has previous experience in academia (as a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire) and in law enforcement (as Research and Policy Officer in the UK Missing Persons Bureau and Crime Analyst in the Serious Crime Analysis Section, both now part of the National Crime Agency).


‘An indispensable resource for all concerned with missing children and adults, bringing together in one volume contributions from recognised experts in all aspects of missing people. From the moment someone goes missing, through processes of identification, to what happens when a missing person returns, it provides rich reviews of research data and analysis, and detailed discussions of practice and procedure. All those working with missing persons will welcome this volume.’ - Jenny Edkins, Aberystwyth University, UK