POLICE HAVE registered 788 cases of abduction of children up to October this year. Of them, 570 children were found whereas 233 are still missing, police said.
The police is organising a ‘Children’s safety week’ from November 14 to 20. “This will include several awareness programmes at schools, colleges and ashramshalas. We are holding meetings with parents, teachers and other stakeholders too,” a senior officer said.
According to police, the number of abduction cases have gone down from 970 in 2018 to 788 this year. “There are numerous reasons why children go missing. In some cases, parents or guardians don’t approach the police, fearing ridicule and defamation,” a senior officer said.
Police said out of the 970 cases in 2018, 89 girls and 38 boys were still missing. This year, 61 boys and 172 girls were still missing, they added.
“We try to reach out to nearby police stations as soon as complainants come to us and then send across pictures of the missing children. This has helped tremendously in the recent past,” the senior officer said.
The police are also starting a programme called ‘Police Kaka and Police Didi’ across all police stations in the district. “During the week, the designated Kaka and Didi will go to schools and ashramshalas in their region and identify themselves. This is for children to have an approach point at police stations,” the officer said.
The police are also focusing on sexual abuse and the Juvenile Justice Act during this awareness week. “Most of the time, parents don’t want to approach us if there’s a crime related to children and we are trying to break that taboo. Even in cases where adolescent children run away, we want parents to approach us as soon as possible,” the officer said.
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