Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith. Azlan Mohammed/AZP News
By Prior Beharry
OUT of the 771 missing persons reported in Trinidad and Tobago in 2020, the police have accounted for 667 of them.
This was revealed by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith at a news conference on Thursday.
He made the comment after a social media video has people saying that 432 women were missing in Trinidad and Tobago.
Griffith explained that out of the 771 people reported missing in 2020, 667 have been accounted for and noted that 432 of these were women. He said 44 remained missing.
He said this figure will further decrease as police visit the homes of where these women were reported missing. He said when a person, who was reported missing returned home, this was not usually told to the police.
Griffith said, “It does not take away from the fact that if one person is missing it is unacceptable. And it is something we must deal with.”
He said the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has made positive changes in dealing with missing persons.
Griffith said the police no longer waited 48 hours to take action, they work with the business sector and use posters and billboards in specific places to help find missing people.
He said, “There is a reason for that, 8,000 police officers can’t find one person missing as easier as one point four million.”
The commissioner said the Child Protection Unit has been enhanced as well as improvement in the Witness Protection Unit.
Griffith said the vast number of missing persons were found with the help of the public.
He noted that 90% of missing people were children.
Griffith said, “The vast majority of missing person worldwide including where we are here is children. Ninety percent of the persons missing are children.
“So we have a situation now because of one very unfortunate circumstance and we automatically putting all the focus and emphasis on females. But let us put the concern throughout. There is a concern about missing persons across the board.”
He said annually eight million of children go missing around the world.
Griffith said these included – 800,000 in the US; 380,000 in England; 45,000 in Mexico; 40,000 in Brazil and France; 30,000 in Canada; and 100,000 in Germany. He said in Australia, one child is reported missing every 18 minutes.
He said over 2,000 children went missing in Jamaica last year.