Can you help find our missing persons?
THIS week has been National Missing Persons Week, with Australian Federal Police striving to create awareness throughout the wider Australian community, targeting those who have never thought about a missing person or the impact it has on their families and friends.
Across Australia there are 2600 long-term missing persons, and AFP Commander Justine Gough said it was sometimes easy to generalise the missing persons in Australia and lose the essence of the individual.
"The people captured in the statistic are not just 'missing persons', they are fathers, daughters, and sons; students, chefs and academics, we don't want people to forget that," Cdr Gough said.
Cdr Gough reminds us that no-one is immune to the social issue, and that it's our responsibility to help raise awareness to reduce the incidence and impact 'missingness' has on our society.
"Anyone, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or educational background, may face the issue of someone they know becoming a missing person.
"It is crucial we reach the wider Australian community; those who have never thought about a missing person, or who believe the impact of a missing person will never affect them.
"The community also plays a critical role in helping police find people who go missing, and we urge anyone with information relating to a missing person, no matter how small, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800333000," Cdr Gough said.
In Australia, a missing person is defined as anyone who is reported missing to police, whose whereabouts are unknown, and where there are fears for the safety or concern for the welfare of that person.
"A long-term missing person is someone who has been missing for more than three months.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.