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Children who can't stop absconding

AN ESTIMATED 100,000 children and young people are reported missing every year throughout the UK.

A 1992 study in four police force areas in England showed that children living with their parents were just as likely to run away as children in care. Children in care, however, tended to abscond repeatedly, being involved in three-fifths of cases.

The English study also found that incidents of absconding were not spread evenly among local residential units but were concentrated within a few, none of which had anything in common in terms of size or type.

The report's authors concluded that "aspects of the regimes in these units and of their internal group dynamics" played a significant part.

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