Over four thousand people have been reported missing in Derry and Strabane over the past four years alone, according to figures newly released by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
The data, released by the police service under the Freedom of Information legislation, show that there were more missing person reports in the North West (4,092) than in any other policing district across the North, apart from Belfast, where the figure stood at 10,926 over the four years.
Between January 1, 2013, and August 1, 2016, there was an astonishing total of 38,005 occurrences of missing persons being reported to the PSNI across the whole of the North.
Tragically, seventy-six of these instances resulted in the recovery of a body, the PSNI confirmed.
Out of the 38,005 occurrences 37,963 resulted in what the PSNI classified as a ‘person found’ outcome, and 37,887 of the occurrences identified that the person had been found alive.
Police said the numbers represented the total number of incidents and not the total number of persons reported missing and suggested it was possible that the same person may have been reported missing on a number of occasions.
The PSNI regularly issues missing person appeals via the media in response to loved ones’ concerns.
The PSNI encourages anyone who knows the whereabouts of any missing person to contact police on the 101 Non Emergency Number.
If people prefer they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.