SAPS: Steps on how to report a missing person

by Junie Sihlangu

SAPS
Male police officers at an awareness campaign on 14 October 2019 in Pretoria. Photo: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

Police Minister, General Bheki Cele and the South African Police Service (SAPS) launched a #SAPS Men Mobilisation awareness campaign on 14 October 2019, in Pretoria. At the event, steps to reporting a missing person and the Ministerial Six-Point Plan were shared.

The campaign was hosted through the SAPS’ ‘Men for Change’ structure. The structure is within the SAPS and was formed in 2004 to address matters of GBV and other challenges faced by men in policing.

The campaign’s focus was to fight against gender-based violence (GBV) and it attracted 1500 male police officers.

Five steps to report a missing person

At the event, the public was also reminded that there was no waiting period to report a missing person. The five steps to follow when reporting a missing person are as follows:

  • Produce a recent photograph of the missing person, if possible
  • Give a complete description of the missing person’s last whereabouts, clothes that they were wearing, and any information that can assist the investigating officer
  • Complete and sign a SAPS 55(A) form. The form safeguards the SAPS from fake reports and indemnifies them to distribute the photograph and information of the missing person
  • Get the investigating officers contact details, and send through any additional information that might become available
  • If a missing person is found or returns voluntarily, inform the investigating officer immediately. A SAPS 92 form must be completed to inform the Bureau of Missing Persons that the missing persons report can be removed from the circulation system

SAPS Head addresses the Ministerial Six-Point Plan

Major General Bafana Linda, the SAPS Head of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit addressed the male police officers at the campaign. Linda reminded them about adhering to the Ministerial Six-Point Plan.

The plan was implemented in 2017 and is visible for view at all police stations. Linda urged members of the public to familiarise themselves with these laws when reporting matters relating to GBV.

The plan aims to ensure that proper procedures are followed during the reporting of GBV cases.

What the Ministerial Six-Point Plan states

The Ministerial Six-Point Plan is outlined as:

  • All victims should be treated with respect, dignity and interviewed by a trained police official in a victim sensitive manner
  • Victims should be assisted in a Victim Friendly Room (VFR) or an alternative room where the statement will be taken in private or other location providing victim support services
  • Victims will be referred or taken for medical examination by a healthcare professional to obtain medical evidence and complete a medical report including seeing to the health of the victim
  • Investigation should be conducted by the Family, Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Investigation Unit (FCS) or a detective with relevant training
  • Families and victims of sexual offences, femicide, and infanticide should all be referred to victim support services that are available within the precinct for legal, medical, social and psychological help
  • Victims should be proactively given feedback on the progress of their cases on a continuous basis

SAPS sign pledge

The campaign culminated in the signing of a pledge by all involved. Everyone committed to intensify efforts in curbing GBV.

Police officers also committed to providing improved services to victims of GBV at police stations.

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