Page 3461 - Week 09 - Thursday, 24 August 2017

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(2) If a person is believed to be missing by the police, what is the timeframe for the public to be alerted through (a) a press release, (b) social media and (c) a news conference.

(3) What other policies are in place to engage with the community to assist in the search for missing persons.

Mr Gentleman: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Better Practice Guide provides guidance for AFP appointees for the management of obligations and responsibilities when dealing with missing persons reported in the ACT.

AFP appointees can be notified of a missing person via telephone, however an appointee will take the full report in person

AFP appointees use a Missing Person Risk Assessment as a guide to assist in determining the level of risk and police response strategy.

A person is not considered missing if the report is made wholly to facilitate occurrences such as:

reuniting families or friends

debt collection

Family Court matters including custody arrangements

persons absent from work.


(2) There are no set time frames. Factors which AFP appointees consider if involving the media to assist in locating a missing person include: age, vulnerability, and physical or mental state.

(3) The AFP’s National Missing Persons Unit coordinates communications campaigns to draw attention to missing people. These campaigns strongly encourage anyone with information about missing people to contact Crime Stoppers. Additionally, states and territories conduct media activities specific to each jurisdiction. The AFP Commissioner recently launched the annual Missing Persons Week in Brisbane to highlight the ongoing search by families and authorities for missing people. The National Missing Persons website and social media sites support this messaging and engagement.

Furthermore, AMBER Alerts were recently introduced to ACT Policing and are intended for time critical situations and should be considered for abducted or high risk missing children.

An Amber Alert will lead to the urgent broadcast of relevant information through the media and other means to the public to facilitate the search for, location and the safe recovery of an abducted or high risk missing child. This can include broadcast by Radio and TV media, Print media, e-mail, Police radio communications, inter agency communications and social media.

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