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1 Sep, 2015 11:59

Police ‘must consider’ tip-offs from psychics, new guidelines state

Police ‘must consider’ tip-offs from psychics, new guidelines state

Police officers hunting for missing people should “not rule out” any tip-offs from witches, psychics and clairvoyants, according to new official guidelines.

In a consultation document from the College of Policing (COP), which lists new guidelines on how police should handle inquiries on missing persons, officers are urged to examine a psychic’s methods and “accredited success” before heeding their supernatural advice.

The consultation, which runs until October 9, aims to offer official guidance for police officers and support them in missing person’s investigations.

Any information received from psychics should be evaluated in the context of the case, and should never become a distraction to the overall investigation and search strategy unless it can be verified,” the consultation paper said.

These contacts usually come from well-intentioned people, but the motive of the individual should always be ascertained, especially where financial gain is included,” it added.

The person’s methods should be asked for, including the circumstances in which they received the information and any accredited successes.”

A spokesperson for the COP said, in this context, “accredited success” means previous cases where a psychic has given police information that turns out to be correct.

Speaking to the Telegraph on Monday, a spokesperson for the charity Missing People said, as a “non-judgmental organization,” they respect that some families of missing people will try “every avenue” to find their loved ones.

Research based on interviews with the families of missing people conducted by the charity shows that no interviewees reported significant findings or comfort from the experience of consulting psychics or mediums,” they told the paper.

Dismissing the COP’s “shameful” guidelines, the Asian Rationalist Society of Britain said police should investigate cases based on facts “not fiction or illusion.”

The society’s general secretary Sachdev Virdee told the Hindustan Times: “If such people have the powers they claim to have, why have policing at all?

It is sad and shameful that such guidelines have been issued,” he said.

Several high-profile cases on missing people have attracted offers of help from psychics.

When three-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing from a Portuguese holiday resort in 2007, psychics tipped off police on potential leads. They were all considered in case they turned out to be true.