Chief Constable Pat Geenty, the lead for missing people for the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), said: "Whenever we get a call and someone is reported missing, we would normally dispatch a police officer, irrespective of the circumstances of the case. So you see that's a huge demand on police resources."Yes. And..? Finding missing people is undoubtedly one of those things the police are paid to do.
In fact, ask any member of the public with an IQ above room temperature and they'd say it rated higher than arresting all and sundry in the vicinity of a crime and letting the CPS sort it all out later...
Under the plans, call handlers will class missing persons cases as either "absent", when a person simply does not arrive where they are expected to be, or "missing", where there is a specific reason for concern. This can be that the disappearance is out of character or that they may be at risk of harm.And the underclass will cotton on to this as quickly as they realised the ambulance is more likely to come at breakneck speed as long as you make sure to mention 'breathing difficulties' when all you have is indigestion.
Mr Geenty said police are sometimes used as a "collection service" for children who go missing from care homes.
He said: "What we're asking for now is that the care homes act as responsible parents, do the initial work that's required in terms of trying to find out where the missing individual is, and then if they have concerns to ring the police.
"There is an element about reducing bureaucracy, but I am convinced that the change will enable us to focus resources to protect those children that we need to protect."Now, there's no doubt whatsoever that this problem is a real one - as could be seen at Winston Smith's now sadly discontinued blog.
But the key to that is to push for others to be forced to do their job properly, not for you to change your quality of service!