Reporting a missing child

It’s every parents nightmare…

According to the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau, a child goes missing in South Africa every five hours.

Approximately 1460 children go missing each year and according to Missing Children South Africa’s statistics, at least 13% of the children are never found.

As many as 1.2 million children are involved in human trafficking a year.

As parents we work so hard protecting our children from the world and if you’ve ever lost sight of a toddler in a mall or a child on the beach you will know the anxiety and fear that can cripple you until you are reunited with your child.

But it’s not just toddlers who go missing.

School kids and teens may be tempted to run away, not tell their parents where they are or stray from the malls with dead phones.

Any parent who hasn’t been able to get hold of their child or who has dealt with any one of the situations above has been plunged into fear and anxiety.

So what do you go if your child goes missing ?

How do you report a missing child ?

According to The South African Police Service these are the steps to take should your child go missing :-

If your child is missing the first thing to note is that many years ago there was a 24 hour waiting period before reporting someone missing. They have done away with it .


Keep a recent photo of your children at all times. Should they go missing you will need to give a photo and description of your child to the police.

In your description always disclose as much information as you can. Where last you saw your child, what they were wearing, their height, weight, physical description, any disabilities or distinguishing marks.

Fill in a SAP 55( A) form at the police station . This will allow the police to open a docket for your child and start investigating their disappearance.

An Investigating Officer will be assigned to tour case. Take note who they are and take their details. Communicate with them and relay any new information you receive or feel is helpful.

If your child is found by you or by chance ran away and came back phone the investigating officer and let them know. This allows them to close your case and start working on finding the next missing child.

How do we protect our children from the very real dangers out there?

As a parent I also feel we should educate our children about the dangers of human trafficking, abduction and what to do if they are abducted.

The more we educate our children the more we equip them with the life skills and understanding to stay safe.

You can use the following tips to help keep your children safe :-

  • Know where your children are at all times and who they are with.
  • Know what they are wearing.
  • Have a recent photograph of your child on you.
  • Teach your children about Stranger Danger and why they must not go anywhere with someone they don’t know or trust.
  • Discuss Human trafficking with them. Children are trafficked for a number of reasons including labour and sexual exploitation.
  • Have your child take the same route to and from places that way if they go missing, you can start looking in the discussed route.
  • Teach them to make a loud noise to attract attention if someone tries to take them.
  • Be involved in your child’s life.
  • Build a trusting relationship and create a home environment where they want to be, and where they want to bring their friends.
  • Get know your child’s friends – know their names, addresses and contact numbers.
  • Encourage a buddy system and teach them to never go somewhere alone.
  • Teach your child his or her own name and address, as well as your name and number. A child might escape from their kidnapper and if they know these details, they can ask for help.
  • Monitor your child’s online presence.
  • Teach them a secret word that you use as code if someone else has to collect them . They will know not to go with that person if the person dies not know the code word.
  • Complete and keep an ID kit for your child. In emergencies you may forget details in your panic the kit will be there to assist you. You can download one from the missing children’s website.

For more information about Missing Children South Africa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.