ACT Police marked International Missing Children’s Day by highlighting the importance of community support when a young person goes missing.
Detective Superintendent Jamey Bellicanta said young people were vulnerable members of the Canberra community and the public played a vital role when locating a missing child.
“It’s very distressing for family and friends when a young person goes missing, “Detective Superintendent Bellicanta said. “and it is important that young people are found quickly because of the risk to their health and safety.”
“There is no ‘typical missing child’ – there are many reasons for a child to go missing,” he said.
“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.”
Detective Superintendent Bellicanta said there had been 136 reports of missing children in the ACT so far this year.
He said that in 2019 there were 319 reports of a missing person under the age of 18, with almost all located within 24 hours.
He said public assistance was vital in ensuring a child’s safety and urged the public to help whenever police publicised information on 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,” Detective Superintendent Bellicanta said.