Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP is calling on community members who may have information that could help locate a missing person to contact police this National Missing Person’s Week.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Missing Person’s Week, which runs from 5th– 11th August 2018.
“National Missing Person’s Week aims to raise awareness about the thousands of Australians who have been reported missing and the impacts their unexplained absence has on their family and friends,” Mr Ward said.
“For most people the thought of a loved one going missing is too much to bear, but this is the awful reality for many families.
“Hopefully by bringing attention to the many Australians who have mysteriously disappeared either recently or in years gone by, some of these cases can be solved.”
Each year, around 38,000 people are reported missing nationally and more than 98 per cent are located, often within a week.
Unfortunately, there are still more than 2,600 people listed as long-term missing persons in Australia.
Minister for Police Troy Grant said there is a common misconception in the community that you need to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing.
“If you have fears for the welfare of someone you know and are unable to locate them, don’t hesitate in contacting the police – do it straight away,” Mr Grant said.
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said friends and family members of those missing a loved one do not need to suffer alone.
“Counselling and support from trained professionals is available from the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit (FFMPU), which does an incredible job supporting people as they deal with the stress of not knowing what has happened to a loved one.”
The FFMPU is part of the Department of Justice and is the only service in Australia to provide specialist counselling and support for missing a loved one.
For more information on National Missing Person’s Week, please visit: www.missingpersons.gov.au.
If you have information on a person reported missing, contact your local Police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.