New Missing Persons Research to Inform Future Law Enforcement Efforts

AIC Reseach - Missing Persons: Who's at risk?

This is a media release by the Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice.

Today I released the National Missing Persons Research Report: Missing Persons: Who's at Risk? which will inform our law enforcement agencies on the latest statistics on missing persons in Australia.

This research is the first of its kind in over a decade – commissioned by the Australian Federal Police's National Missing Persons Coordination Centre and undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Between 2008 and 2015, over 305,000 missing persons reports were made to Australian state and territory police. In 2015, 40,580 missing person reports were received with almost half of these reports relating to young people aged 13 to 17 years – four times that of other age groups.

Young Australians were also found more likely to be reported missing a number of times. Data from the Northern Territory showed 42 percent of people reported missing three or more times in a given year were young people aged 13-17 years.

Data from Victoria shows elderly Australians, those suffering from a disability or mental health condition and individuals likely to cause self-harm or attempt suicide are at a higher risk of being reported missing. Five percent of reports related to people involved in domestic violence.

The report also showed more men were reported missing than women, except those aged between 13 and 17. Missing persons with a mental illness and those who commit suicide were more likely to be male and middle-aged.

These statistics are alarming. Our law enforcement agencies and their partners are doing excellent work to tackle the high number of missing Australians evident by most missing persons reports being resolved within 48 hours.

But every member of our community can help. If you have information about the whereabouts of a missing person please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The full report can be viewed via our research page.

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