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Burstow sponsors bill on Young Runaways

January 29, 2007 12:00 AM

Paul Burstow, MP for Sutton and Cheam, has continued his campaign to raise the plight of young people who go missing from home by co-sponsoring a bill calling on the government to establish a national strategy to safeguard runaway and missing children.

Mr Burstow is one of the vice-chairs of the All Party Group on Young Runaways. He has also tabled two well-supported Early Day Motions on the issue, one echoing the call for the establishment of a national strategy to deal with the problem, and the other commending the Childrens' Society "Safe and Sound" Campaign.

The "Safeguarding Runaway and Missing Children" Bill calls for the government to take steps to ensure that information about runaway and missing children is collected and reported. It also calls for coordination between local authorities and other bodies connected with young runaways.

Commenting on the Bill, Mr Burstow said:

"Recent research shows that the majority of Local Authorities - those directly responsible for the welfare of these children - had no idea how many children in their area had gone missing."

"This is a deeply worrying statistic, and one which goes some way to explaining the failure of government and local authorities to get to grips with this problem."

"I hope that this Bill will encourage the government to ensure that information about runaways is appropriately collected and used - a vital first step if we are to start to protect these vulnerable young people."