Reporting a missing child

How to report a missing child

In South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours. Here is a guide on how you can report your child if they go missing. 

Missing child
Teddy bear on window in dark room/ iStock

According to the South African Police Service Missing Person’s Bureau 2013 report, a child goes missing every five hours. This is an alarming number.

The report states that around a quarter of the missing children are never found. But this could be prevented if parents and guardians report the missing child as soon as possible and work together with the police.

The sooner the investigation starts, the higher the chances are of finding the child. 

Below is a guide on how you can report a missing child:

-          Report the missing child immediately. Do not wait for 24 hours.

-          Produce a recent photograph of the missing person. This will help the police and public identify him or her.  

-          Give a complete description of the missing child’s last whereabouts.

-           Describe the clothes that the missing child was wearing when he or she went missing, as well as any information that can assist the investigating officer such as their age, height, hair colour, eye colour, and any identifying marks such as scars or birthmarks.

-          Complete and sign a SAPS 55(A) form which is found at the police station. You can also email the form to [email protected]

-          Obtain the investigating officer’s contact details and keep him or her updated about any additional information that might become available.

-          If a missing child is found or returns voluntarily, inform the investigating officer immediately and fill in a SAPS 92 form to inform the Bureau of Missing Persons.

READ: Child Protection Week 2019: Children's rights

Image courtesy of iStock/ eranicle

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