Nearly four people a day were reported missing in Islington over the past year, Metropolitan Police figures show.
The figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request, reveal that there were 1,274 missing person reports in the borough between January and November 2017, from a total of 50,849 people across London.
The Islington figure is down from 1,608 in 2016, but still accounts for 2.5 per cent of all missing persons in London.
Analysis of the figures also shows the number of missing person incidents per 1,000 people. In Islington there were 5.5 incidents, while in neighbouring Hackney there were 6.1. The boroughs with the highest rate of missing person incidents were Redbridge and Croydon, which each recorded 10.1 per 1000, while the lowest was Richmond with 2.6.
However the statistics record only the number of incidents of missing persons. Dr Karen Shalev Greene, director of the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth, points out that, “if people have been missing several times, then there’s a higher chance they’ll go missing again”. As such, a number of different reports could refer to the same individual.
This may help to explain the widening gaps between boroughs over time, with the rates of missing persons in Croydon, for example, more likely to rise than in Kingston. Data analysis by Islington Now also suggests that the number of missing person incidents tends to be higher in boroughs with larger numbers of low-income households, BAME groups and rates of violent and sexual assaults.
The Met Police said: “The majority of missing people are located within one day, safe and well,” adding that parents are more likely to report a child missing if they live in boroughs with higher crime rates.
— Islington MPS (@MPSIslington) March 7, 2018
Islington Council was unavailable to comment on the data.