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Aug 11, 2015

Missing Persons in Australia: The Facts

A missing person is someone who disappeared from sight and knowledge of loved ones, and whose fate and location remains a mystery. Australian police add the rider ‘and whose case is known to us’. While this is the only way to evaluate their success rate fairly, the reality is that we may never know the total number of missing persons in Australia.

The Current Position in a Nutshell

The number of missing persons per state or territory is a reflection of population size. There are approximately 35,000 new missing persons in Australia every year, of which 20,000 were reported in New South Wales and Victoria alone in 2014. Approximately 99.5 of them reunited with those closest to them. The commonest categories were young people, those with mental illness issues, and seniors with dementia.

The New South Wales Situation

In NSW - which is representative of the national situation - up to 150 dementia sufferers go absent annually. Their families and carers report them promptly, with the result that many are found within hours with the average being one day. The success rate with young people (who make up approximately 60% of missing persons in Australia) in New South Wales is slower, because in many cases the act is deliberate. Notwithstanding that, 99.5% of all missing people eventually turn up.

The Status Quo in Victoria

The Garden State reports about 8,500 missing people annually compared to the NSW 11,500, but the outcome ratios are similar. A great deal of Police success is down to the sympathetic workforce. To quote Victorian Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana:

“It’s not our job to judge, but rather make sure that anyone reported as missing is safe and well. For those of you who may have started a new life without the knowledge of your family or friends, please let Police know so we can at least alleviate some of that pain”.

The Missing Persons in Australia Taskforce

Current safety and security concerns are stretching our police resources to breaking point. With the best will in the world, they are unable to give every missing person in Australia’s case the personal attention it deserves.

Private investigation company Missing Persons In Australia is strategically positioned in Queensland to help close this gap with a dedicated service going back 12 years. Please call 1300 553 788 or email us at info@missingpersonsinaustralia.com.au so we can discuss your matter and help provide a solution fast.