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Publication date: Monday, 6 August 2018
National Missing Persons Week (NMPW) is an annual event to raise awareness of the significant issues associated with missing people and the families left behind, as well as to help reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia. This year the event will run from 5 - 11 August and will mark the 30th year of commemorating NMPW.
To acknowledge this significant anniversary, the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre of the Australian Federal Police will be running the '30 for 30' campaign. The campaign will profile 30 long-term missing people from around the nation and will touch on some of the reasons people go missing, as well as the impact on those left behind.
The campaign will target the wider Australian community, including those who may not have thought about missing people, or have considered they might ever be touched by the loss of a missing person.
Every year approximately 38,000 missing persons' reports are made to the police nationwide. That is approximately one person every 14 minutes. Research shows that for every person who disappears there will be, on average 12 people affected in some way.
While most people reported missing to police are located within a short period of time, approximately 2,600 people remain missing for more than three months.
In NSW the Families and Friends of Missing Persons Unit (FFMPU) at the Department of Justice provides crucial support services for people left behind when someone goes missing. This includes free counseling, support group meetings and other services to the families, loved ones and communities dealing with the grief and uncertainty of living with a missing person. The FFMPU also collaborates with agencies conducting searches for missing persons.
The community plays a critical role in helping police to find people who go missing. Anyone who has any information that could help to bring home any missing persons can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. More information on the 2,600 long-term missing persons on the Public Register is available at www.missingpersons.gov.au.
National Missing Persons Week began in 1988, with a memorial service in Townsville where the Mayor of Townsville planted a tree in commemoration of Mr Tony Jones, who disappeared in 1982. NMPW is now held every year in Australia. For more information, visit www.missingpersons.gov.au.
Above: National Missing Persons Week marks 30 years in 2018.