A CRADLEY care home which vulnerable youngsters have disappeared from for days at a time should not be granted planning permission - police have said.

West Midlands Police is opposing an application for respective consent to convert a residential home into a care facility for 16-18 year-olds, after police were called out 60 times in seven months.

Officers say youngsters who absconded were found as far away as Manchester.

In a submission to Dudley Council, police have outlined a series of problems and incidents since it opened last September.

It has been operating without planning permission and can only accommodate two young people at a time.

Asking councillors to reject planning permission, police said: “Local police and Dudley Council were not aware of this property due to being unregulated, but only became aware due to the high calls of service to the police starting on 30th September 2018.

“The children housed at this address are from outside the Dudley borough and housed via other councils from the West Midlands.

“The children who go missing from this address have been located in Liverpool and Manchester, issues have arisen with the care home not being able to retrieve them once located."

Stating officers have been called out 60 times mainly to deal with children who are missing or reported absent, they also criticised its management, saying:  “Due to the nature of the home, dealing with 16-18 year-olds who could have the potential to be vulnerable eg CSE, mental health issue or other high risk issues a management plan is essential.

“No management plan is present which would show the care homes procedures and policies, and the qualifications of the staff.

“From the amount of calls of service to the police the children at this home appear to spend more time missing than being at the home which is being paid for by the public purse.”

The application will go to Dudley planning committee for a final decision.