‘Don’t wait to file a report’

2018-07-17 06:01
South Arican Community Crime Watch (SACCW) spokesperson, Steven King.PHOTO: PHINDILE SHOZI

South Arican Community Crime Watch (SACCW) spokesperson, Steven King.PHOTO: PHINDILE SHOZI

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THE statistics surrounding the abduction of children may have reached alarming rates in the province however SA Community Crime Watch founder Steven King believes that the amount of missing children not reported is far higher.

King said that cases of missing children often lack attention in the community. “Most children get found within a few hours and, in reality, there are no real statistics available about kidnappings or trafficking cases involving children.

“Parents need to keep a close eye on their children, especially in crowded spaces like beaches and in malls where one can so easily be distracted,” said King.

He also said that parents need to teach the children stranger danger, and that they should not get into strangers cars nor that take food or sweets from strangers.

King reiterated that there is no waiting period to report a missing person: “Parents should immediately go their nearest police station and report a missing person.”

King stated said that parents should be able to produce a recent photograph of the missing person, if possible, and when reporting a missing person: “One needs to give a complete description of the missing person’s last whereabouts, clothes that they were wearing, as well as any information that can assist the investigating officer. Also complete and sign a SAPS 55(A) form. This form safeguards the SAPS from hoax reports and allows the SAPS to distribute the photograph and information of the missing person,” he explained.

He added that the reporting party should obtain the investigating officer’s contact details and send them any additional information that might become available. He said that, once that is done, they should also contact the SACCW missing persons division who will then assist the family in completing a first contact questionnaire, where they compile a missing person’s flyer which is distributed electronically over a nationwide network. King said that all leads generated are then immediately shared with the investigating officer and, if needs be, a search party is put together to assist in the search and rescue of the person.

“Trauma councillors and medical teams will then assist the family and the found person if needed. Once the case has been closed a found flyer is released,” said King.

“If a missing person is found, or returns voluntarily, inform the investigating officer immediately. A SAPS 92 form must be completed to inform the Bureau of Missing Persons that the missing person’s report can be removed from the circulation system,“ he continued. To find out more, or to report a missing person, contact King on 082 920 5799.

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