Hundreds of children go missing in North East every year

A BBC investigation has discovered that more than 100 children go missing from council-run care in the North East every year.

Figures from 11 local authorities in the North East revealed that at least 596 youngsters disappeared in the five years up to April this year, with Sunderland City Council having the highest number with 118. Newcastle City Council recorded the second-highest number of missing youngsters across the five years at 110, followed by Durham County Council with 100.

Anne Longfield, the Children's Commissioner for England, described the figures as ‘really worrying’.

Sharon Willis, strategic service manager at Sunderland's Together for Children, said: "Many of the young people we look after come to us with a history of risk-taking behaviour as a result of trauma they have experienced through early childhood. Our staff teams are skilled in identifying risks and putting in place child-focused strategies for individual young people to minimise risk and ultimately reduce and in some cases prevent missing episodes."

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