Missing loved ones

Seeking those who disappear: Inspector Kelly Kortlepel and Senior Constable Steven McAlister study a list of missing people at NSW Police Headquarters.

Seeking those who disappear: Inspector Kelly Kortlepel and Senior Constable Steven McAlister study a list of missing people at NSW Police Headquarters.

MISSING Persons Week, running from August 3-9, highlights cases of those whose whereabouts are still unknown.

Police use the annual event to renew appeals for help in finding missing people and to raise public awareness.

In 2013, 11,803 people were reported missing in NSW.

Thirty-six of those remain missing.

Sixty per cent are younger than 18 and 10 per cent are older than 60.

So far this year 5635 people have been reported as missing.

Thirty have been missing for more than three months.

Those most at risk of going missing are young people, older people with dementia or memory loss and people with a mental illness.

Though 99 per cent of missing people are found, there are about 1600 people in Australia who have been missing for more than six months.

Police urge people to come forward if they suspect a relative or a friend is missing.

Myths include a belief that adults cannot be reported as missing or a person has to be missing for 24 hours before a report is made.

"If you have serious concerns for the safety and welfare of a person, and their whereabouts are unknown, then immediately report them missing to your local police," a spokesman said.

"When located, a missing person must give permission before their whereabouts are released.

"A decision to release a missing child's details will be determined by the circumstances surrounding the reasons the child went missing."

He said most children who go missing are found within 24 hours.

Those caring for relatives with dementia should be aware of the risk of them going missing and seek as much information about the condition as they can.

Learn more: missingpersons.gov.au/awareness/themes/national-missing-persons-week-2014.aspx.

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