In 2014 Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT) sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to each police force in the UK. The FOI requests asked forces to provide the number of parental child abductions, non-parental child abductions and child kidnappings recorded in 2012/13 and 2013/14.
This statistical paper reports the key findings:
- Overall, child abduction and child kidnapping offences increased by 13 per cent from 2012/13 to 2013/14, to a total of nearly 900 offences across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Non-parental child abductions increased at more than twice the rate of parental child abductions (14 per cent compared to 6 per cent).
- Child kidnappings increased at an even higher rate of 18 per cent over the two year period.
- Whilst increases in this type of offence are clearly alarming, the explanation for their increase may – at least in part – lie in changes to police crime-recording practices.
- There is enormous variation between regions and police forces in the number, and rate, of child abduction and kidnapping offences. Whilst the large city police forces all recorded higher rates of child abduction and kidnapping offences than the national average, some smaller forces recorded even larger increases.