ALMOST 1,000 people were recorded as missing in Fife in a nine-month period last year and over 70 of them were from the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area.

Police Scotland gave councillors an idea of the scale of the problem they face by looking at figures from April 1 to December 31.

In that time they received 998 calls that became a full missing person investigation and were recorded on the National Missing Person Database.

A total of 584 related to children, including looked after and accommodated children, and 414 concerned adults, including those in a care setting.

The report to the environment and protective services committee said this was slightly up from the 981 missing persons from the same time period in 2018.

Of the 998 people recorded as missing last year, 73 were from the Cowdenbeath area.

There were 126 people who were recorded as missing on more than one occasion.

The report explained that not all calls to the police about a missing person escalate to a full investigation as a number of these incidents will be resolved relatively quickly.

The total number of these calls between April and the end of December last year was 2,265, down from 2,703 for the same nine months in 2018.

The police explained: "Demands in 2017/18 were significant. This led to recognition that partnership work was necessary and led to the formation of a partnership group for missing people in December 2018.

"Since the formation of this group, there has been a recognised reduction in call demand."

This has resulted in a drop of around 90 calls per month being reported to the Fife division.

They added: "Police Scotland remain vigilant in our investigation and recording of missing persons and the severity of each individual report.

"In all cases, a person will be considered missing until otherwise established."