‘IF YOU CAN’T FIND YOUR SON, HOW DO YOU EXPECT POLICE OFFICERS TO FIND YOUR SON FOR YOU?’ ”
IN HONOR OF RICHARD OKOROGHEYE:
The seriousness of Missing People
RICHARD'S MOTHER, EVIDENCE JOEL, SAID THAT SHE FELT DISMISSED BY POLICE WHEN SHE FIRST REPORTED RICHARD MISSING.
Evidence Joel told Channel 4 News that she believed officers considered her to be “one of those African women who was being frantic” and did not immediate take action to find her son.
Knowing that Richard was high-risk and vulnerable, due to both his health and the pandemic.
The racial stereotypes behind the reasons why some young BAME men and women go missing are becoming a driving influence on how serious cases like Richard's are taken when an initial report is issued. (Scroll down for more information on this)
This mindset that some police carry directly affects investigations that include Black, Asian and other ethnic minorities living in the UK.
“RICHARD IS AN ADULT, HE CAN COME AND GO AT ANY TIME” SAYS POLICE OFFICERS...AFTER OVER 48HRS OF NO CONTACT.
Under-reporting of missing people has resulted in unreliable national data... with 7 in 10 children not being reported when they go missing.
And adults not being reported at all...
(Source: National Crime Agency)
CHARITIES AND ORGANISATIONS DEDICATED TO MISSING PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES:
FOR THE LOST
An organisation devoted to missing persons cases.
GLOBAL MISSING KIDS
For missing and exploited children.
THE DOE NETWORK
International Centre for Missing and unidentified persons
MISSING PEOPLE UK
UK charity lifeline for those affected by anyone going missing
2013-2016 STATISTICS WERE REVEALED BY METROPOLITAN POLICE TO A LOCAL SOUTH-WEST LONDON NEWS REPORTER. THE ARTICLE WAS REPORTING LEVELS OF MISSING COLOURED PEOPLE IN BOROUGHS SUCH AS WANDSWORTH, LAMBETH, MERTON & CROYDON.
HERE IT SHOWED THAT BLACK, ASIAN AND ETHNIC MINORITY PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO GO MISSING THAN THEIR WHITE COUNTERPARTS IN WANDSWORTH.
NEIGHBOURING BOROUGHS LAMBETH & MERTON HAD MISSING REPORTS 70% HIGHER IN BAME GROUPS THAN AMONG THOSE FROM WHITE BACKGROUNDS.
... THERE HAS BEEN NO FURTHER INFORMATION OR STATISTICS SINCE 2016 READILY AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC CONCERNING THE RATE OF MISSING PEOPLE IN BAME COMMUNITIES EXCLUSIVELY.
And in Croydon, the number of BAME people reported missing surged by a terrifying 74% in one year between 2014/15 and 2015/16, up from 1,935 to 3,359.
Rumours of young people being kidnapped or lured into trafficking rings was a big presence at this time.
Over the same period, the number of cases involving white people increased 26% from 1,990 to 2,505 in Croydon, which had more missing people instances than any other borough.
'IT DOESN'T SIT RIGHT WITH ME HOW HER WORDS ARE STILL SO RELATABLE 6 YEARS LATER... WHILE JUST THIS YEAR THE GOVERNMENT 'INVESTIGATED' AND DECIDED THAT INSTITUTIONAL RACISM IS DECLINING OR BECOMING 'NON-EXISTENT' IN THE UK. WHEN WE ALL KNOW TOO WELL... THIS IS JUST NOT THE CASE.'
“There are a lot of different things sitting underneath these statistics,” said Lucy Holmes, research manager for charity Missing People.
She explains... She said that children in care — who are more likely to be from ethnic minority backgrounds — are at much higher risk of going missing than other children.
She also says that when adults go missing, it is usually due to mental health issues or gang activity.
I don't know about you, but this is a very lazy analysis of the reason why Black and ethnic minorities are taken less serious by police, and reported less than their white counterparts... As well as the rate of adults and young people going missing are twice the rate of their white counterparts.
This connects to my above statement concerning racial stereotypes and the police.
'THE SIMPLE FACT IS THAT ONE SINGLE WHITE CHILD’S STORY CAN DOMINATE NEWS COVERAGE FOR YEARS WHILE FEW IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN ARE AWARE OF HOW MANY CHILDREN OF COLOUR ARE VICTIMISED, MISSING OR MURDERED'.- CHIMENE SULEYMAN, 2016.
I came across an article written in 2016 by writer Chimene Suleyman.
Her words were timeless, but it didn't sit right with me how her words are still so relatable 6 years later... while just this year the Government 'investigated' and decided that institutional racism is declining or becoming 'non-existent' in the UK. When we all know too well... this is just not the case.
Here she speaks out on the heightened level of outrage shown by the UK media when a white victim goes missing or killed, compared to the lack of urgency and outrage shown when a BAME person who goes missing or is killed in the same circumstances.
She uses examples of Peter Connelly aka 'Baby P's' tragic death at the hands of his abusive step-father.
As well as describing the multi-year coverage of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance as 'often cinematic in its reporting'
What I loved about this piece is the light she brought to names who didn't receive an ounce of coverage from the UK Media. They also deserve outrage and justice.
Below are names and stories of missing people who are ethnic minorities in the UK.
Including the ones mentioned in Chimene's article.
Fortunately a majority were found soon after the article was posted... However the ones who were not found have been missing for over a decade...
Information pages and links have been provided below.
RICHARD'S TIMELINE: WHAT BBC & SKY NEWS REPORTS FAILED TO MENTION ONCE HIS DEATH WAS ANNOUNCED.
It started with reports that Richard's mother mentioned he was 'struggling to cope' with the lockdown restrictions.
- This was before he was pronounced dead.
Then the headlines began to say that he was in fact 'struggling to cope with his Business & IT Degree'
They also mentioned in the article that he left his house with no money and without his medicine that he takes daily.
You don't have to be Einstein to know what type of narrative they are beginning to push with these statements. With no mention of his mothers previous statements that she believed he was meeting someone he had been communicating with online.
But I don't want to make assumptions like one conspiracy theorist. But the narrative that the big media outlets are starting to procreate; are very opposite to those such as The Guardian, who take more into consideration than just 'pushing a narrative' when it comes to issues surrounding people of colour...
...This is probably one of the most saddest situations to occur in 2021.
A body matching Richards' description was found in a lake in Epping Forest on Monday.
Richard Okorogheye, was 19 years old.
He was a Business and IT undergraduate at Oxford Brookes university.
Richard suffered from Sickle cell disease. His family revealed that he was following lockdown rules and only left his home to receive treatment.
His family made police and aware of communications he was having via PS5, they also reached out to his contacts on there for any information on his whereabouts when he was reported missing.
He went missing on the 22nd March 2021.
He was seen on CCTV footage walking towards Epping Forest in Loughton, Essex in the early hours of the 23rd March 2021.
He left his area on a bus, where he then took a taxi from his area in West London (Ladbroke Grove), to a residential area in Loughton, Essex. CCTV show him holding a bag. Which was most likely his pouch. So he did not leave home empty handed.
The police are currently treating his death as 'unexplained', and police believe that no other people were involved in his death due to finding no third parties related to his death.
His body was said to not be found with any signs of assault or trauma.
Police are currently investigating his phone an laptop activity... But this could be a waste of time... looking in the wrong places if the person he may have planned on meeting was only communicating with him via PS5...
My sincere condolences go out to Richards family and loved ones. & to Evidence Joel. You are a very strong and courageous person. All my Blessings are with you.
THIS IS JUST 4 OUT OF A ALARMING AMOUNT OF ASIAN PEOPLE WHO HAVE GONE MISSING IN DIFFERENT AREAS IN THE WEST MIDLANDS THIS YEAR.
(Source, Missing People UK)