How police find missing people
LISMORE woman Christa Crewe is one of about 35,000 people across Australia, who are reported missing every year, that police use various methods to find.
Ms Crewe, and her maroon 1999 model Honda CRV, were last seen in Lismore on April 12.
Yesterday police released a CCTV image of Ms Crewe at Mary Gilhooleys Lismore bottle shop.
The urban myth that you have to wait until a person has been missing for 24 hours before their disappearance can be reported is wrong.
"If you have serious concerns for the safety and welfare of a person, and their whereabouts are unknown, then you may immediately report them missing to local police by filing a missing persons report," the Australian Federal Police advise.
Of the people reported missing every year, 95% are found within a short period of time, while about 1,600 people remain as long-term missing persons.
Lismore police Detective Sergeant Bernadette Ingram police use a variety of methods to track down missing people, some of which can't be divulged.
"One thing police are always reliant on is information from the public about missing persons," she said.
When a missing persons report is filed at the local police station, Det Sgt Ingram said, officers are sent out to canvas the area where the person was last seen to get witness statements.
"We also work with interstate police and other agencies that trace missing persons," she said.
Police are also able to obtain a persons bank statements and account details to trace their movements.
"Circulating motor vehicle details and photos is another method police use because often people are more likely to remember motor vehicles rather than people," Det Sgt Ingram said.
Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Christa Crewe is urged to call Lismore police on 6626 0599 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
Methods police use to find missing people
- Relying on information from the public
- Canvassing the area and talking to family
- Working with interstate police and other agencies including the Salvation Army and Red Cross tracing services
- Tracking a persons activities through bank records
- Circulating a photo and description of the person through the media
- Circulating a photo and description of the person's car or vehicle