briefing paperEach year crime statistics – the number of offences recorded by the police – are published by the Office for National Statistics (for England and Wales); the Scottish Government (for Scotland); and the Police Service Northern Ireland (for Northern Ireland).

Police-recorded crime statistics are one of the few sources of data on child abduction. However, they can be misleading and have important limitations.

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briefing paperPolice-recorded crime statistics give only a partial account of children’s experience of actual or attempted abduction. Some incidents are never reported while others may not be recorded. Further information is available in our separate briefing paper Child Abduction: 5 things you should know about police-recorded crime statistics.

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briefing paperIncidents of child abduction are regulated by different pieces of legislation in the three jurisdictions of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The main legislative provisions that cover child abduction are described below.

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