Cash crisis may see helpline close soon

The National Missing Persons Helpline is set to close at the end of
the month unless it can secure immediate funding.

The charity needs at least £300,000 government funding and
£250,000 from private trusts. Several of these have indicated
that they
are willing to match any money given by ministers.

It has also asked the government to make regular contributions to
the charity. At the moment the Home Office provides only short-term
funding for particular projects.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have assisted [the helpline]
to identify suitable funding opportunities from outside government
and we will consider the letter of February 2005 asking for funding
once we have received their business case.”

The helpline has the most comprehensive database of missing people
in the UK and is a vital resource.

Co-founder Janet Newman said that if the helpline ceased to exist
it would have far-reaching and serious cost implications on
government departments, local authorities and the police, who would
have to take over its work.

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