What to do when a child, family goes missing

2015-07-28 15:40

With the increase in missing persons cases and several searches being conducted over the weekend, a local organisation has approached People’s Post with tips on dealing with missing persons.

“Far to many people, especially children, go missing each day and far too little awareness regarding the process of reporting a missing person is made available to the general public,” says community worker Mario Oorstendurp.

These are the steps to follow:

. There is no waiting period before reporting a missing person. Time is of the essence, so it should be done immediately. The sooner you report a missing person to the police, the sooner they can start searching.

. Report a missing person at the nearest police station.

. When reporting a missing person, a clear, recent photograph and all basic information on the missing person as well as the exact circumstances of their disappearance will make it easier for the police to help you.

. Know the schedules and movements of loved ones and family members and know your children’s friends.

. Make a point of remembering the clothing they wear. This information is essential for the investigation.

. When a missing person is found or returns home voluntarily, report the person’s safe return to the police as soon as possible so that they can cancel the information on their police records.

. The number to call with any information on a missing person’s whereabouts is CrimeStop on 08600 10111.

After you have reported a missing person to your local police station, these are the follow-up actions you can take:

. Check or visit all the local spots that the missing person visits frequently.

. Have posters or flyers with a picture of the missing person made and place them in store windows or on notice boards in the community.

. Check again with your child’s friends, school and neighbours. Don’t exclude old boyfriends, friends made at school camps, friends from out of town, friends made via social media, etc.

. Search for clues in your child’s bedroom, on their computer files and in their diary.

. Publicise the case in the newspaper and on social media

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