Generally, most missing children incidents are resolved quickly without harm to the child being recorded.
In 98% of recorded incidents involving missing children in England and Wales, no harm was recorded, although police data does caveat this by saying that this just means cases have been closed without harm being reported by the missing child.
The majority of resolved incidents (52%) end within eight hours, with 80% being resolved within 24 hours. This doesn’t include the small number of cases that are unresolved.
It should also be noted that these figures are for cases that are reported. It is likely that there are more, unreported cases of missing children, particularly of those in vulnerable situations.