Geo-targeted ‘Urgent Missing Appeals’ to be served to millions of train travellers
The charity Missing People has partnered with Trainline to launch a new initiative in the UK, creating geo-located urgent and current missing person appeals landing directly on users’ phones.
A new project, the first of its kind, has been launched in the UK in an effort to bring more missing people to safety faster, using geo-targeted urgent and current missing person appeals. Leading charity Missing People has partnered with Trainline to bring location-based appeals to the millions of train travellers across the country.
The pioneering new initiative has the potential to reach millions of members of the public via the Trainline app, and works by displaying images of people who have gone missing in the vicinity, as well as information on the steps to take if you suspect you have seen a missing person, or have information on their whereabouts.
The trial for the initiative has been supported by relatives who are continuing to search for missing family members, including the father of Andrew Gosden. Andrew went missing on the 14 September 2007 after taking a train from his hometown of Doncaster to King’s Cross station in London when he was just 14 years old.
Speaking about the project, Andrew’s father Kevin Gosden said: “It’s so important to have these appeals out there. You never know when someone might remember something, or may have seen a missing person. It’s also important to know that there is help for anyone considering disappearing, including support that may help people take the step to return home, or think twice before leaving in the first place.”
“If this had existed back in 2007, Andrew’s image could have been displayed to thousands of members of the public in the area where he went missing. Anything that can help to raise awareness of Andrew, and the appeals for any missing person, is vital in keeping the search active and ensuring people are continuing to keep a look out for those who are missing”.
Paul Joseph, Head of Helplines at Missing People said: “Someone going missing is a crisis. The main factors for adults are mental health problems and financial uncertainty. Missing People is concerned about the effect of the growing pressures on people over this winter. The charity is gearing up to take more contacts to our Helpline.
When someone vulnerable has disappeared, they can often use the transport network as a safe place. Missing People is so proud to be working with Trainline to raise awareness of individual disappearances. Together, we hope to raise awareness and potentially help find missing people. For the loved ones of those featured, knowing that action is being taken to find them, helps to keep hope alive.”
The project went live on Wednesday 16 October and will be trialled for an initial one-year period. This is supported by JC Decaux through the use of their billboards in main train stations across the UK – which will also show the appeals. Participating stations include Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Leeds, Clapham Junction, Edinburgh Waverly, Birmingham New Street and London Bridge.
Trainline is the leading independent rail and coach travel platform selling rail and coach tickets to millions of travellers worldwide. Via our highly rated website and mobile app, people can seamlessly search, book and manage their journeys all in one place. We bring together millions of routes, fares and journey times from 270 rail and coach carriers across 45 countries. We help our customers find the best value fares for their journey and smart, real time travel information on the go. Our aim is to make rail and coach travel easier and more accessible, encouraging people to make more environmentally sustainable travel choices.
About Missing People
A person is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. Missing People is the only charity in the UK which is dedicated to bringing the 176,000 children and adults that go missing every year back together with their families. Some missing people you will have heard of, but many more you won’t. For their families, life without them can be a desperate and unbearable struggle. We are there for them every day of the year, at the end of a phone, text or email, ready to use every means possible to search for and find their missing loved ones and to provide vital on-going support to families where the agonising wait turns into years, not just days.
You can call or text 116 000 for advice, support and options if you, or someone you love, goes missing or runs away - it’s free and confidential. You can find further guidance and ways to access help and support on the website www.missingpeople.org.uk
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