09 May 2017

International conference on 'missing' issues

International conference on 'missing' issues

Abertay University will host police experts, academics and policy makers from across the world at a prestigious international conference exploring issues around why people go missing.

The International Conference on Missing Children and Adults comes to Scotland for the first time from June 14-16, having previously been held in Brussels and Portsmouth.

Professor Dame Sue Black of the University of Dundee and DNA specialist Dr Susan Hitchin of Interpol have been confirmed as keynote speakers for the event, which will see delegates travel to Dundee from the likes of Hong Kong, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Australia, South Africa, Belgium and the US.

Topics will include psychological distress in relatives of missing persons, missing children in migration, parental alienation and links between repeated runaways and sexual exploitation.

Other areas will include the identification and recovery of bodies, human body movement in water, underwater decomposition, responses to young runaways in Tayside and coping with Dementia-related ‘wander-walkers’.

The use of technology in missing person cases will also be explored, as well as a concept analysis of going missing and a look at the cultural space between life and death.

More than 150 delegates are expected at Abertay for the event, which is organised in partnership with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, Police Scotland and the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth and sponsored by WPC Software. 

The full range of challenges associated with missing people will be analysed by people working in the sector, from those charged with responding to live cases to others affected by the concept of ‘missing’ in its broadest sense.

Abertay forensic psychologist Dr Penny Woolnough, an expert on missing person behaviour and chair of the conference said: “A missing person case can range from a teenager failing to come home over a weekend to more sinister incidents where foul play is involved, and as such the sector presents a mammoth challenge for police forces and partner agencies across the world.

“By coming together to exchange knowledge in this way, the agencies dealing with these issues on the frontline will go away better equipped to find people and also to offer the suitable support to those involved, the families affected and the staff who must sometimes deal with harrowing discoveries.”

Abertay Principal Nigel Seaton said: “This conference plays a vital part in global knowledge exchange on issues around missing children and adults and we are delighted to host delegates from across the world.”

Registration deadline is Friday June 2 at 5pm.

For more information visit https://www.abertay.ac.uk/research/society/conference-missing-children-and-adults/  

Share This