The number of children reported missing in London in the last year years has risen by a third a Freedom of Information request from a missing childrens’ charity has revealed. 

The FOI request by Railway Children shows last year almost 18,000 children were reported as missing from their homes although the charity warned the numbers were likely to be higher.

The Evening Standard report: 

Missing children reports to the Metropolitan Police have risen from 13,361 in 2008 to 17,882 last year according to statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Pressure put on families caused by the economic downturn is thought to be a possible cause for the increase being seen across the country.

But charity Railway Children, which compiled the figures, said the true numbers were likely to be much higher and called on society to do more to tackle the problem.

The number of missing children is expected to rise again by the end of the year and similar trends have also been uncovered in other areas. In places such as Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire there were up to five times more under-16s reported missing last year than in 2008.

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I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.