The Riverina Police District is commemorating the 30-year anniversary of National Missing Persons Week by highlighting the impact on family and friends following the disappearance of a loved one.
In a statement, the police district said people go missing for many different reasons, including conflicts within families and other relationships, mental illnesses, natural disaster or through suspicious circumstances.
“This is an issue that has the potential to affect everyone irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, culture, profession or educational background,” it said.
“If they suspect a friend or family member has gone missing, they don’t have to wait 24 hours to take action – they should report the matter to police immediately.”
NMPW is an annual event to highlight cases of missing persons.
The aim is to raise awareness of the issues and impacts associated with missing people.
More than 10,000 people are reported missing to NSW Police every year and while most people are found within a short time, fewer than 30 people that become long-term missing people – those who have been missing for more than three months.
A NSW Police spokesperson said the three primary groups at risk of going missing are those suffering from a mental illness, the elderly and young people.
“There are several reasons why people go missing – mental health issues, alcohol and drug problems, family dysfunction and conflict or violence,” the spokesperson said.
“For families of missing persons, the impact is significant and not knowing if their loved one is safe is a traumatic experience that never goes away.
“National Missing Persons Week is an opportunity to remember those who are still missing, and garner new leads that could help bring them home.”
A missing person is defined as anyone who is reported missing to police, whose whereabouts are unknown, and there are fears for the safety or concern for the welfare of that person.
It is important for people to be aware that being reported missing is not a crime and that it is the aim of the NSW Police Force to ascertain if the missing person is safe and well.
To contact the Missing Persons Unit: 1800 025 091 or email@example.com.
More about the initiative: visit National Missing Persons Week.