Missing persons awareness drive

Children at Bottelary Road Primary School were weighed, measured and fingerprinted last week to fill out a form their parents will hopefully never have to give to the police.

Brackenfell police and the Pink Ladies, an organisation that posts alerts about missing people, visited the school on Wednesday May 24 as part of a drive to educate the public about the importance of having up-do-date photographs and information about their loved ones should they go missing.

Brackenfell police spokeswoman Captain Erica Crous said officers had dealt “many times” with parents or close family of a missing child who were unable to give them vital information, such as hair colour, scars, weight and height.

“We have had children reported missing in the past where the most recent photo was three years old,” she said.

At the school, the police and Pink Ladies volunteers created individual profiles for the pupils, including relevant information and a photograph provided by the school. Children took these home to their parents, with a form developed by the Pink Ladies that prompts them to fill in all the important information that is needed when filing a missing persons report.

Captain Crous said it was a “safeguard” for parents.

“In the unfortunate event that a child goes missing, the form can be brought to SAPS already containing all the information.

“It is now the responsibility of the parent, however, to keep this form updated at least on a six monthly basis by weighing, measuring the child again and adding a new photo.”