Dangerous time for children
More disappear over the festive season than any other period, says organisation.
The festive season is a dangerous time for children, according to Missing Children South Africa, and authorities have urged parents to practice extra vigilance in protecting children from becoming victims of crime, negligence or safety hazards.
Bianca van Aswegen, National Coordinator at Missing Children SA, said while statistics were difficult to come by, because a lack of police data, it was evident to the organisation that child disappearances were still on the rise and routinely spiked during December.
“We are aware that cases are on the increase, especially around the festive season,” said Van Aswegan.
“We have seen more children go missing, we have seen a spike in kidnapping cases this time compared to other times during the year. That also includes children who go missing on the beaches and the malls – children tend to be an easier target this time of the year because of all the crowded areas, parents tend to be more relaxed and children are easily grabbed when it’s busy.”
She added that when reporting a missing person, people need not wait for any period of time and it was concerning that some parents were still waiting longer than necessary before reporting their children missing.
“If you suspect that a person could be missing, report it immediately,” she said.