National Missing Persons Week 29 July - 4 August 2012
Monday, 30 July 2012 - 7:53am
National Missing Persons Week - Take the time to let someone know
Encouraging young people to stay in touch with their families is the focus of this year’s National Missing Persons Week (29 July – 4 August 2012).
The theme is ‘Take the time to let someone know’.
There are three groups most at risk of going missing; those living with a mental illness, older people with dementia or memory loss and young people. It is estimated that of the 35,000 people reported missing to police every year, approximately 20,000 people are under the age of 18.
In Tasmania last financial year, 35% of the 129 people who went missing were under 18 years old.
“Many young people who go missing do not realise they have been reported missing by their parents, carers or guardians,” said Senior Constable Natalie McIntee.
“While most people reported missing are located within 2 or 3 days, this time is traumatic and emotionally very difficult for the missing person’s family and friends.”
Specific risk factors for young people to go missing include domestic violence, family conflict, child abuse and neglect, school problems such as bullying or issues with peers or teachers, alcohol or illicit drug use or mental health issues.
“We’re encouraging young people to stay in touch with their families. A quick text message to let someone know you’re ok, where you are and when you’ll be back will save your loved ones a lot of worry,” said Senior Constable McIntee.
“If your plans have changed or you need some time out, you might not think of yourself as ‘missing’, but those who care about you need to know you’re ok.”
National Missing Persons Week is an annual campaign coordinated by the Australian Federal Police, National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing persons in Australia.
Don’t wait 24 hours to report a missing person; if you have fears for the safety and well being of someone, report to police immediately.
Further information is available on the Missing Persons website.