Missing Persons Bureau website aims to identify bodies

 
Clothing belonging to man found in the Thames in 1989 Pictures of clothing found are also being put on the website

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Pictures of unidentified bodies found across the UK are being put online on a new website that aims to help the authorities track missing people.

The Missing Persons Bureau currently holds records of 1,000 people who have not been identified, some dating back to the 1950s.

Its site will also be used to trace living people, such as those who have suffered memory loss.

Images deemed to be distressing will be marked with a warning.

Members of the public will be able to search cases and provide information online.

As well as the photographs, information under each entry may include an estimate of the age of the person discovered and details of the clothing they were wearing.

Any relevant details supplied by members of the public will given to police forces or the coroner in charge of the case.

Start Quote

It will empower families to play an active part in the search for their loved ones”

End Quote Joe Apps Missing Persons Bureau

The website also includes details of bodies discovered on the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

The Missing Persons Bureau - which was run by the Met Police until 2008 and is currently a division of the Serious Organised Crime Agency - will become part of the new National Crime Agency next year.

Joe Apps, from the bureau, said: "The aim of the new site is to bring closure to the families and friends of the people featured.

"With new unidentified person cases we rely on modern forensic techniques for identification but on older cases we look to use every tool available and believe that case publicity is the best chance of getting images recognised.

"This will be the first time families of missing people have been able to search through records for themselves and it will empower families to play an active part in the search for their loved ones."

 

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 99.

    Pretending it doesn't exist won't make death go away. There seems to be this modern insistence that death forms no part of life. Perhaps if there was some awareness, teenagers wouldn't be able to delude themselves into the belief that they're immortal. Perhaps we should ban all news items and dramas where death is involved as well? Brits are always happy to impose their own values on other people.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 98.

    72.dj mummy
    Absolute brilliant idea - obviously too easy to think of by the people who thought up the idea in the first place. Would also prevent the "ghouls" from getting access and no doubt posting the pictures etc elswehere.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.

  • Comment number 96.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 95.

    I would just like to point out that children should not have unsupervised access to the internet AT ALL. The issue of what they might see is therefore an entirely moot point. Children on the internet are a danger to themselves and to the security of your IT hardware!!

    Images could be embedded, rendering them unable to be copied by all but the most determined. Many sites already do this!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 94.

    Are they expecting everybody in the country to virtually rubber neck these corpses on the off chance they might recognise something?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 93.

    Ever seen a Western sherriffs office posters..."Wanted dead or alive" the key word is wanted...by someone. If this helps find them and who they are good! Press show pics of missing children all the time and we basically know most of them may already be dead somehwere, should they be hidden away as well because most of us have never met them? Madelaine, April, Keith Bennett et al.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 92.

    In theory this should be a good idea. Many other posters here have said that checks need to be included, this cannot be a general access site there needs to be tough security, secure access codes specific to each request to view the pictures issued to use the site and any misuse from that code leading to prosecution

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 91.

    I think it is important that anyone wishing to view such a site has to register first and that the images are protected in some way. Otherwise we will have the sick and the twisted using it for voyeurism and sending the images around on social media sites. The whole subject needs to be treated with extreme sensitivity and caution.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 90.

    Doesn't issuing police logins defeat the aim of getting the general public to report information about somebody they might once have known at work, at school, in the services etc... Surely if the police knew in advance who had the information they wouldn't need to run this website or am I missing something? I think the problem will be getting enough people to take the time to look at the images.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 89.

    To those who object to this. Ever heard of a certain famous waxworks where there are deathmasks of dead people who had thier heads chopped off and a chamber of horrors. So poular with the public and their children you have to pay extra to see them and people do. Whats the difference with this and at least it can help people who are still living find out what happened.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 88.

    This could prove to be an excellent idea, with the potential to bring closure to people searching for loved ones.

    However, I can't shake the feeling that it seems a little ghoulish.

    I think time will tell.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 87.

    72. dj mummy

    What do you mean by 'correct purpose'? I think it should be open to all, you may discover a long lost friend or family member who you didn't know whas missing. Great idea though.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 85.

    A face is a face is a face, or a special tatto is still just a tattoo. It's not as if they're going to be putting half decomposed skulls with maggots falling out the eyesockets and worms crawling out of mouths on the site for people to gawp at is it. The whole point is that whatever they show is identifiable and recognisable as someone. As Tesco ays, 'Every little helps'

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 84.

    Not very nice but could be helpful. It's more gruesome to actually pay (and take kids because it's educational) to the art galleries and museums that have exhibits of dissected animals etc on display and one of the most popular programmes in recent years was that with the Germans actually with a TV audience watching post mortems being carried out. Got very high ratings at the time.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 83.

    75-I'd let my children see this as I'm a responsible parent who acknowledges that death happens. My young children have been to at least 3 funerals & have seen at least 2 dead bodies. One of those was their mother, your refusal to let children see the dead would deny them the chance to say goodbye. Death happens - it's natural. Also I don't let my children "run riot" as I'm a responsible parent.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 82.

    A good idea....not sure it will produce huge results but it's a relatively cheap way of ending the greiving of some families. Obviously the "I'm outraged"/"It's liberal" brigade are out in force but they're best ignored on this one. They're always upset about something.

    Maybe it will do some good...either crimes will be solved or friends/families will find out what happened to those they miss.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 81.

    @74 Stereotonic. 'a serial killer has been drooling over the pics of their loved ones....it's protecting them from this sort of thing. . . . . .'

    Serial killer probably already done his drooling over the body he's just killed while it's still warm and fresh, and far too much protection from everything these days. Life has a nasty side of but many of us want to turn a blind eye to it if we can

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 80.

    @dj mummy

    That would defeat the whole object - the idea is that it makes the cases available to a wider audience so that leads can be obtained from a pool of people x times larger than it previously was.

    Think of it like an online Crimewatch dedicated to unidentified dead people.

 

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