An assembly member has called on the Government to do more to help police investigate missing persons cases.

There were 39,790 missing persons reports made to the Metropolitan Police in the first 11 months of 2018.

The figures came in response to a written question from Labour London Assembly spokesperson for crime, Unmesh Desai, to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Mr Desai said: “For families suffering the pain and uncertainty of a loved one going missing, Christmas can be a particularly challenging time.

“It is imperative that we should be able to offer reassurances to these families that the police have the capacity to do all they can to bring those missing, safely home.”

In October this year the BBC reported the total cost of investigating missing persons cases in the capital is £70 million and £130 million a year.

In the same month a report from the Home Affairs Select Committee said part of the reason there was a strain on cases involving missing persons was partly due to a “funding reduction” to public services.

Ms Desai is now calling on the Government to do more to help the police manage missing persons cases.

He said: “The stark and unavoidable reality is that unless the Government completely reconsider their approach to police funding, the number of missing persons reports will simply become unsustainable.”

According to the Metropolitan Police’s latest Force Management Statement, published in June this year the capital has around 20 per cent of all the missing person’s cases in the UK.

Mr Desai also hit out at the Government earlier this month when it announced it would be giving police forces in England Wales £970 million each, which means up to an extra £172 million for local police forces in 2019.

At the time Mr Desai said: “Following today’s announcement, Londoners could be forgiven for thinking the Government are indifferent to the safety of people in our city.

“Without adequate government support, there is only so much that can be done, and today’s settlement falls far short of that.”