Figures from the statistics department of Mumbai police have revealed that while the number of missing persons’ complaints filed in 2011 saw a decline as compared to the previous year, the police managed to unite fewer of them with their families.
In 2010, 1,713 boys under the age of 18 were reported missing; the number came down to 1,128 in 2011. Similarly, 1,928 minor girls went missing in 2010 against 1,371 last year.
But while 1,649 of the minor boys were found in 2010, the number fell to 866 last year. Against 1,860 girls reunited with their families in 2010, only 958 could be found last year. The figures also show that while the number of men reported to have gone missing came down from 3,527 in 2010 to 2,438 last year, so did the detection rate — from 3,295 to 1,631. Similarly, just as the number of missing women fell from 3,684 in 2010 to 2,736 last year, their detection did too, from 2,827 to 1,631.
The decline in the number of missing person being traced comes despite the police having a dedicated missing person’s bureau to attend to such cases. “The bureau works specifically on the missing persons’ complaints registered with us. It has a centralised branch located in the compound of the police commissioner’s office. The officers and staff attached to this branch help the relatives of the missing persons to trace them,” said assistant police inspector HV Borade of the missing persons’ bureau.
The police say that they also employ several techniques to trace missing persons. “As soon as we register a missing persons’ complaint, we issue wireless messages and publish the person’s description in a police notice. We also issue circulars carrying the person’s photo and details to all police stations, and a copy is sent to Doordarshan and other media for broadcast. After this, inquiries are made at hospitals, railway stations, airports, bus stands, cinema houses, parks and gardens, among others,” Borade said.
But if the least year’s figures are anything to go by, the police force needs to intensify its efforts in solving such cases.