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Missing Persons Urged To Make Contact This Xmas


Missing persons urged to make contact this Christmas

Missing persons are being encouraged to make contact this Christmas as part of a national campaign by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and state and territory police agencies to reconnect missing persons with someone they trust.

Television commercials, which began airing nationally today, send a simple message to missing people - make contact.

AFP National Manager Economic and Special Operations Peter Drennan said about two thirds of the 30,000 people reported missing each year are under the age of 18, while many others are elderly and often incapable of finding their way home.

"Christmas is a time of reconnection and the best gift families and friends could wish for is to know that their missing loved one is safe and well," Assistant Commissioner Drennan said.

"This does not necessarily mean that the missing person has to physically return home, rather we'd just like them to let someone they know and trust that they are okay."

More than 99.5 per cent of people reported missing are located within a short period of time but some 1600 people have been missing in Australia for more than six months.

Sarah Wayland, project officer with the AFP's National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, said Christmas is often a difficult time of year for families and friends of missing persons and for missing people themselves.

"There are often very compelling reasons for a person not wanting to be found but the message of this campaign is to make contact with somebody who can be trusted whether that be the police, a friend or a family member," Ms Wayland said.

Woman's Day magazine and Foxtel are supporting this campaign. Woman's Day featured the Make Contact campaign in its 25 November edition and Foxtel is airing the commercial on its Crime and Investigation Network.

For more information, visit the website www.afp.gov.au/national/missing

ENDS

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