Operation Encompass: Safeguarding A Missing Child

From September 2023, Operation Encompass will be expanded to include the sharing of timely information between Police and Schools to promote safeguarding of children who are reported missing from home. Information passed to schools will be include the missing and found reports with details of the circumstances.

Operation Encompass is a National initiative with the aim of helping to protect children through better communication between the Police and Schools. Currently, schools whose children that are involved in or present at a domestic incident receive a notification from Police to inform the school of the incident. This initiative has now been expanded to include the sharing of timely information to schools’ safeguarding leads when a child has been reported missing and/or found following a missing episode.

Children who go missing from home are at risk of significant harm and they may be vulnerable to sexual exploitation, violent crime, gang exploitation, or to drug and alcohol misuse.

Operation Encompass will alert the safeguarding lead if a child that attends their school has been reported missing, is still missing or returns from a missing episode. This timely information will facilitate schools to play a key role in the multiagency response to a child going missing from home, provide support to the child and promote information sharing between safeguarding agencies.

Schools will be able to inform Police if that child has subsequently attended school when known to be missing, and if the child remains missing, will enable information from the safeguarding lead to be passed onto Police to assist the missing investigation. For example, the child’s best friends or daily habits that may assist locating them quickly and safely.

This information will also enable schools to take the information into consideration following a missing episode and provide additional safeguarding support for the child upon their return to school.

Initially, the process will piloted by 12 volunteer schools from September 2023 prior to being rolled out further. For further information please visit Home: Operation Encompass