New missing person app released to find people faster

A NEW mobile phone app will help police get missing person information distributed more widely and more quickly, without people needing to visit a station. 

The Queensland Police Service initiative has been designed to ensure officers can enter relevant details - including photos, detailed descriptions, medical, bank account and social media information and family contacts - on the spot. 

Acting Police Minister Anthony Lynham said police received an average of 100 missing person reports across the state each week

"Traditionally, members of the public reporting a person missing were required to visit a police station to complete a report," he said. 

"As we all know, time is of the essence in locating a person that has gone missing and the need for police to get on with the job of finding the person is crucial.

"Now with the introduction of the Missing Persons App designed for mobile devices, police equipped with the app can take these reports on the spot."

The Missing Persons App is the first of a suite of tools to be introduced over the coming months.

It will allow officers at the scene to capture authority to release details to the media. 

Tasks will be set immediately and if an Amber Alert needs to be activated, the officer will be given immediate access to the relevant process to ensure information is broadcast promptly across the QPS, relevant government agencies and where necessary, to the community.

The app will be trialled on mobile devices in the Ipswich and Moreton areas, including Caboolture, from August 22. 

If successful, it is envisaged the app will be rolled out to all police equipped with devices across the state.

"By having the officer available to take all necessary details on the spot, we hope it will ease the burden on the families who are already suffering," Dr Lynham said.

The app trial coincides with National Missing Persons Week that runs until Saturday.

Police commissioner Ian Stewart said an average 6000 people were reported missing each year in Queensland.

"We have great success in locating many of these people, with a 99.7% recovery rate, however each year a tiny few remain outstanding," he said.

"Currently there are 350 people on the Queensland long-term missing persons register. 

"There are certainly groups within our community who are more vulnerable, including elderly and young people and there are a variety of reasons people can go missing, including emotional or mental issues, financial and family breakdowns or worse, abduction or murder." - ARM NEWSDESK  

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