A SHAKE-up in policy will not affect how South Yorkshire Police responds to missing people, Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has insisted.
Some who go missing regularly will be monitored as “absent” and prioritised below others where there is a specific reason for concern.
Critics have said new definitions, announced on Wednesday, will put vulnerable children at greater risk of being groomed of sexually exploited.
NSPCC head of police David Tucker said: “We expect all professionals to invest the right amount of time and take the necessary action to protect all children as soon as they go missing.”
Mr Wright said: “Officers will always be deployed when a missing person is considered to be a risk to themselves or others.
“Every report will still be risk-assessed. Where risk is deemed to be low there will be an expectation that the person or organisation with parental care will take steps to identify the whereabouts of the absent person.
“An individual officer, usually an inspector, will be assigned to every absent case and will continually monitor the risk and review the status.”