Missing People partners with c2c to expand vital support network

06 December 2022

6 December 2022: c2c is proud to announce a new partnership with Missing People, a UK charity dedicated to reconnecting missing people and their loved ones.

Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK, with 170,000 people reported missing every year. Many missing people are drawn to public transport as a way out of their current situation, as well County Line gangs using the transport network to move vulnerable young people around the UK to sell and transport drugs. And as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact families, children as young as 11 are now turning to crime to support their families, stay warm and put food on the table.

This new partnership sees c2c join Missing People’s Safeguarding Briefing Network (SBN), a network of organisations that Missing People can send missing person briefings to when there is intelligence suggesting that staff there may come into contact with the person.

With 26 stations across its 45 mile route, London to South Essex rail network c2c sees millions of passengers each year, so joining the charity’s network increases the chance of finding missing people moving through the operator’s local areas and builds on the operator’s focus on safeguarding and security, as well as collaboration with The British Transport Police.

Jo Youle, CEO for the charity Missing People said, “We are delighted to announce this important new partnership with c2c rail who are part of our journey to encourage people in crisis to get help before disappearing. We know that when people are at their most vulnerable, they may think of going missing. We hope that we can reach them before they go and provide the support to keep them safe.”

The SBN is a vital part of the charity’s work to find missing people across the country as sometimes public facing publicity can be harmful to the missing person and it could cause them distress. For example, it may not be safe to launch a publicity appeal for a missing person escaping domestic abuse.

Once c2c receives notification of a missing person through the SBN, the teams of station and mobile security staff are briefed on who to look out for, and guided on what to do if the missing person is seen. This can be interacting with the person to let them know they have been reported missing, and passing them details of Missing People to contact them directly if they want to. If that isn’t appropriate for any reason, staff can report the sighting back to Missing People to look for other ways to help. Deployment on the c2c network is already underway, with missing people already identified on the route.

As well as the network, Missing People offers support to people affected by the issue of missing or thinking about disappearing, via a free, confidential Helpline on 116 000 and launches regular publicity appeals to help bring missing people home, as well as providing family support, counselling, and specialist services for issues related to missing people, such as exploitation and County Lines.

Head of Revenue Protection and Security at c2c, Iain Palmer, said, “I’m really proud to see this partnership go live; c2c is uniquely positioned to help search for missing people who may come into contact with our teams and provide help before situations escalate. With our colleagues working across stations and trains across east London and Essex, we cover a huge area so we can extend the impact of Missing People’s reach, giving hope and support in helping finding missing individuals.”

Missing People Announcement 6dec22

Pictured l-r: Jo Youle, CEO of Missing People, Dave King Crime Reduction Officer and Community Relations Adviser British Transport Police, and c2c Head of Revenue Protection & Security Iain Palmer

These individuals include people like Ju Benclowe, who made her way to a railway station while in crisis. “During that moment of lostness, when I was stood on the station platform becoming detached from myself I was not yet ‘missing’ to others. I believe that there was a window of opportunity there. Had I been able to see these images they may well have been able to cut through that growing hopelessness, preventing the situation from escalating into the trauma of becoming completely overwhelmed. It has been a privilege to consult collectively with Missing People on this prevention project and to find ways of using my own experiences of grief and loss to support those who are in crisis now.”

About Missing People

A person is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. Missing People is the only charity in the UK which is dedicated to bringing the 176,000 children and adults that go missing every year back together with their families. Some missing people you will have heard of, but many more you won’t. For their families, life without them can be a desperate and unbearable struggle. We are there for them every day of the year, at the end of a phone, text or email, ready to use every means possible to search for and find their missing loved ones and to provide vital on-going support to families where the agonising wait turns into years, not just days.

You can call or text 116 000 for advice, support and options if you, or someone you love, goes missing or runs away – it’s free and confidential. You can find further guidance and ways to access help and support on our website www.missingpeople.org.uk

About the SBN

The SBN is a network of organisations that Missing People can send missing person briefings to when there is reason to believe that staff there may come into contact with the person. The SBN is not like traditional publicity appeals where a poster is put up in a public place, instead the SBN aims to only share information with professionals privately so that they can keep an eye out for the missing person and either report a sighting to the charity or speak to the missing person directly if they are providing support to them. This allows trained staff at the stations to then help those who are the most vulnerable by signposting them over to our services and offering their skilled support.

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