The Timmins Police Service acknowledge that today is International Missing Children’s Day and together with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, we are reaching out to all parents to educate them about the single most effective way to reduce the risk of a child going missing.
Through over 30 years of working with families of missing children, the Canadian Centre has witnessed the impacts of a missing child on families and communities.
The shared hope is that parents and families are aware of that this type of crime is deemed to be a crime of opportunity.
Any measures taken to protect vulnerable sector persons such as children and infants along with preventative safety strategies are viewed as vital by both the Timmins Police Service and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
In a recent study from the Canadian Centre titled “Abducted then Murdered Children: A Canadian Study (Preliminary Results)” which closely examined 147 cases between 1970 and 2010, policing agencies have learned that
- In 68% of these cases, the child was alone when abducted.
- 41% of the abductions occurred in June, July or August.
- Across all age groups, 53% were last seen between the hours of 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- 45% of such events occurred on a Friday or a Saturday.
- 67% were in-transit at the time of abduction (i.e. walking, biking), such as travelling to school, a friend’s home or a nearby park or mall.
Armed with this information, as the end of school year approaches the Canadian Centre and the Timmins Police Service are actively encouraging all parents to talk to their children about the importance of not allowing for situations where they are more likely to be adducted to persist. The use of the Buddy System is a tremendous preventative tool. As children reach the teenage years and have more freedom and independence, the Buddy System is more critical than ever. The study revealed that being alone was one of the most significant risk factors for abduction.
It is recognized that the use of the Buddy System is the most effective strategy that reduces the risk of children being abducted
Regardless of the age of the child, from when children are small all the way up to the vulnerable young adult years, the Buddy System is a proven measure that reduces the likelihood of victimization.
A balancing act is in play here, where children seek to gain more independence as they grow older while parents must be mindful of the dangers attached to having any child engage in any activity alone.
Many families have had to endure the disappearance of a young person too many times
The Timmins Police Service strongly encourage parents to engage in those practices that allow for all children to enjoy their childhood while not being exposed to undue dangers.
For more information on street proofing your child, visit missingkids.ca or call 1-866-KID-TIPS (543-8477).