Talk:UK police locate missing Chinese teen Mei Chen, silent on details

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OR NotesEdit

Lucie Blackman TrustEdit

I must say, I was very impressed by the speedy and high-level response from a charity that frankly has better things to be doing than running after journos. I've little doubt that had an urgent message come in they'd have instantly shelved my email, but I'm still pleasantly surprised by how much effort they were prepared to go to late at night to get back to me.

I sent a message last night via the contact us form on the trust's website, which read as follows: Hello. I am working on a piece about Mei Chen, a Chinese individual who vanished earlier this month and was fortunately found today. I am struck that her situation is effectively the inverse of your work; a foreign national missing in the UK. Against that background, would you be able to provide a quick general statement detailing what it is like for families and friends when a loved one goes missing abroad?

I rapidly got back the following:

Hi Iain,


No matter where in the world it happens, a loved one becoming a missing person is devastating for all involved. The family, partners, friends and colleagues are all affected. It is incredibly hard to accept that someone has simply vanished without trace and, while many cases are resolved in relatively few hours, cases that go on longer become increasingly hard to live with.

We have been told numerous times on longer term cases that it would be easier to cope if the fate of the missing person was known. If you know someone has sadly died, at least you can grieve and begin to rebuild your lives. Families of missing persons to do not have this luxury – there is no time to grieve, no place to remember, no funeral or memorial. Rather there is a never ending wondering what happened – forever fearing the worst and imagining unthinkable outcomes.

Add in the practicalities of inaccessible bank accounts, bills draining those accounts month by month and the sudden loss of income and there is hard financial situation to cope with as well.

But when all of this is happening on the other side of the world, continents away, families feel even more helpless. At home they could talk to police, authorities and other organisations , go to the site they were last seen and at least do something. This is often impossible in overseas cases – culture and language barriers often create huge hurdles in simply reporting a case at all.

The Lucie Blackman Trust, and other charities in other countries provide vital support in these areas but it hard to contemplate just how harrowing an experience a missing loved one overseas can be.

Hope that helps!

Best wishes


Matthew Searle MBE Chief Executive Lucie Blackman Trust

Email will be forwarded to scoop before marking for review. The main page of their website provides some background on their mission, here. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

North Yorkshire PoliceEdit

I sent the force this last night:


I am working on an article about the good news that Mei Chen has been found safe and well. This is for publication on Wikinews, the news-based project run by the same charity famous for Wikipedia, where I am recognised as an accredited reporter. I am hoping you can advise on the following matters;

Where was she located?

Is there any ongoing investigation e.g. into potential criminal offences?

Thank you for your time and assistance.

I have not received a reply. I will forward the message I sent to scoop. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Original appealEdit

The initial press release by the police still appears (for me, at least) on Google News when I search for Mei Chen. It takes me here, a rather creative 404 notice. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

British Transport PoliceEdit

I sent the following to BTP last night:


I am working on a report on the fact missing student Mei Chen has been found safe and well. I understand B.T.P. was involved in this operation.

Can you clarify a couple of points please? Namely, where was she found? And are there any ongoing inquiries into potential offences?

In addition, I would appreciate any statement B.T.P. may have available.

This afternoon I received the following:

Hello Iain,

I believe this was a North Yorks Police investigation, so you'd need to contact them for details.

We were alerted in the same way we would be for any missing person thought to be travelling on the rail network but we wouldn't hold that sort of info.

Many thanks,


Daisy Collingwood Media Relations Officer

I will forward this communication chain to scoop. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Metropolitan PoliceEdit

I sent this to the force last night:


I'm working on a piece about the safe return of Mei Chen, and understand the force was involved in the search for her as she caught a train heading towards London. I would appreciate any statement the Met has to give on the good news, and also the clearing up of some details;

Where was she located?

Are there any ongoing enquiries e.g. into possible criminal offences?

Thank you for your time.

No reply received. Will forward the email I sent to scoop. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

International SchoolEdit

I found the school's website and sent them this:


I'm working on an article with regards to Mei Chen, who was found safely today. I was wondering if the school has a statement on the happy news?

I didn't get a reply. Will forward to scoop. Their website can be found here and is used to verify the org's full name and the quote about its purpose. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

National Crime AgencyEdit

I sent an email to the NCA last night:


I am working on a piece about teenager Mei Chen, who has been missing from North Yorkshire and was fortunately found safely today. There have been reports indicating she may have been travelling to meet an unknown male whom she had encountered online.

Is CEOP aware of this incident? If so, has it (or the NCA in general) had any involvement?

I would also appreciate any statement you wish to make given the troubling aspects of this.

Thank you for your time

They did not respond and I will forward the original email, as with the others. Their website details the CEOP aspect of their work. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

an awkward detailEdit

"They also raised concerns Chen may be taken advantage of due to her young age" has proven hard to source owing to publications overwriting their original news stories with different, newer focal points. In the end I had to use Google's cache, which is not ideal and bordering on 'lite' OR if it goes down, or gets updated, before review. The cached piece is here and contains the phrase "They are worried that she is vulnerable due to her young age and could be taken advantage of." BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 22:47, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Conflict of Interest DeclarationEdit

I do not have any possible CoI here. Nonetheless, I feel the need to note something; when investigating this story, the Lucie Blackman Trust struck me as an organisation that could possibly assist with something that has been troubling me regarding someone I knew several years ago. As such, there is a likelihood I will be engaging with them on a non-journalistic level shortly. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 23:04, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

Review of revision 4453458 [Passed]Edit

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