Missing children

  • There is no waiting period before reporting a person as missing: time is of the essence so it should be done immediately. The sooner you report a missing person to the police, the sooner they can assist you in searching for him/her
  • Go to the nearest police station to report a missing person
  • When reporting a missing person, you need a clear, recent photograph and all basic information on the missing person, as well as the exact circumstances of his/her disappearance in order to enable the police to assist you
  • To assist the police when reporting a missing person, know the schedules and movements of loved ones and family members; know your children’s friends. Make a point of remembering the clothing they wear. This information is essential for the investigation
  • When a missing person is found or returns home voluntarily, return to the SAPS as soon as possible and report the person’s safe return to the police. This is important so that they can cancel the information on their police records
  • The number to call with any information on a missing person’s whereabouts is SAPS Crime Stop 08600 10111.

After you have taken immediate action by reporting a missing child to your local police station, there are always follow-up actions you can take:

  • Check or visit the local spots that the missing child visits frequently
  • Have posters or leaflets with a picture of the missing child made and place them in store windows or notice boards in the community
  • Check again with your child’s friends, school, neighbours, etc. Don’t exclude old boyfriends, girlfriends, friends made at school camps, friends from out of town, friends made on computer or cellphone (ix-it) etc.
  • Search for clues in your child’s bedroom, computer files, diary etc.
  • Ask the police to request the Bureau for Missing Persons to publicise the case in the print and electronic media.

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