ONE-hundred and thirty-six children have already been reported missing this year, and detective superintendent Jamey Bellicanta says the public plays a vital role in police locating a missing child.
He makes the comments today (May 25) on International Missing Children’s Day, saying public assistance is vital in ensuring a child’s safety.
Last year, 319 children under the age of 18 went missing, with almost all located within 24 hours.
But, he says police need help from the public to do so.
“On this International Missing Children’s Day, ACT Policing is urging the public to assist when we publicise a missing child. Each little bit of information, each social media share and each call to police about a missing child’s location brings us closer to finding the child and ensuring they are safe and well,” he says.
“It’s very distressing for family and friends when a young person goes missing, and it is important that young people are found quickly because of the risk to their health and safety.”
The detective says there is no “typical missing child”, and there are many reasons for a child to go missing.
“Some children are experiencing complex personal, social or environmental issues, while others may be in situations where they feel they can’t cope or the world would be better off without them. They may be living at home, with extended family or in out-of-home care,” he says.
“Regardless of their living arrangements or their personal issues – no child should feel alone. And no child should feel there isn’t support and care available to them.”