§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of children aged under 16 years who have run away from home. 
§ Mr. Michael
The available information is from the National Missing Persons Bureau, which was set up by the Home Office in 1994 as a national resource for information on vulnerable people who go missing. The Bureau maintains information on people who have been missing for over 28 days. Cases of persons missing for shorter periods may also be referred to the Bureau if the referring police force has particular cause for concern. At present, the National Missing Persons Bureau has records of 125 children under 16 who have been missing for more than 28 days and 36 children who have been missing for shorter periods. It is not known whether they are runaways or if there are other causes for their disappearance.