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New podcast offers support for loved ones around ‘missing persons pandemic’

A new podcast and website have been launched which aims to tackle the growing issue of people going missing around the world.

Missing Persons Uncovered will tackle myths around the issue and empower people to help protect vulnerable loved ones from such a threat. The podcast and website will include real-life stories from relatives of missing persons to help listeners recognise any warning signs and take appropriate action.

Professor Karen Shalev-Greene, one of the experts behind the project, claims there is a ‘missing persons pandemic’, with eight million people going missing around the world every year, including 155,000 in the UK alone.

Karen, who works at the University of Portsmouth, commented: “My father was a fighter pilot in Israel and he was captured during the Yom Kippur War. He was considered missing in action for a few days and when he returned he would occasionally disappear for several days. Years later when I went to a conference on missing persons, I realised that this is what I’ll be focussing on for the rest of my working life.”

Karen has teamed up with Caroline Humer, a US-based child protection expert with more than 20 years’ experience, to create the podcast and the website. The podcast begins with a double bill of episodes that define what it means to go missing, explore the reasons people disappear, as well as the process for reporting.

The Missing Persons Uncovered podcast aims to get beneath the surface of an emergency nations are facing across the world. But Caroline says there are many misconceptions that are hindering the safe search and return of missing people.

“In many TV shows and movies it is still portrayed that when reporting a missing person, one would have to wait 24 or 48 hours. This is a myth we need to debunk as it hinders the actual investigation as well as puts the missing person at greater risk,said Caroline.

Find out more about the Missing Persons Uncovered project, listen to the podcast and find links to support on the website