This project seeks to understand the realities involved in 'going missing', and will do so from multiple perspectives; using the voices and opinions of the police, families and returned missing people themselves.

Qualitative data will be collected to shed light on a significant social (and spatial) problem and help us understand more about the nature of missing experiences.

The purpose of such an endeavour is to understand more about how people go missing and how the police and families respond to such events (the geographies of searching). Such a focus holds value for both the police and families (the 'left behind') in that it updates and checks current knowledge about the likely spatial experiences of missing people (where they go, how far they get, how they are sometimes relocated for significant periods of time).

Using police-based time frames, we will compare a range of experiences of short-term (below 14 days) and long-term (over 14 days) missing people, to find out more about how going missing involves different sorts of journeys, different critical uses of space and place, which in turn hold different implications for the identities of those missing.

Start date
31 January 2011
End date
30 July 2014
Grant holder
Dr Hester Parr
Dr Penny Woolnough
Professor Nicholas Fyfe
Grant amount
Grant reference
Human Geography
Grant type