Reports of missing teens stretch police resources
Police have observed a disturbing trend recently concerning reports of missing teenage girls who were found either with their boyfriends or adult men, according to Superintendent of Police Stephen Dean.
“When we conducted our investigation we found out they are not as reported,” Dean said.
“We are noticing that there are a number of girls who do not want to be under their parents’ home, who do not want to be under that discipline.
“In some cases they are moving out with young men, living with them sometimes in hotels [or] sometimes in other parents’ homes.”
Dean noted that police sometimes found the missing teens an hour into the investigation.
“Sometimes we find them a day later, sometimes two…and it is really disturbing because we have to treat it seriously because on the face of it we don’t know what happened to that child,” he said.
Dean said almost every week police are inundated with reports of missing teenage girls and sometimes boys.
“The majority of the cases reported we have seen of missing teenagers, have been cases where the teenagers have moved away or have been lured away by their boyfriend or some adult,” he said.
Dean added that the girls reported missing in recent times have been between 12 and 17, and the males they have been found with have been between 20 and 30.
“These men have taken them into their homes or the homes of their parents and they have these teenage girls in those houses,” he said.
“We are finding out that most of these persons are getting involved in sexual activities with [the] adult men at early ages.
“We are saying to young men out there who are luring these girls from their parents’ homes, it is a criminal offense to be having unlawful sexual intercourse with young teenage girls.
“We are saying to adults who know of these acts that are happening, it is also a criminal offense to know that such acts are happening and not report [them].
“You can be charged with aiding and abetting such offenses.”
Dean said police have prosecuted several young men as well as parents in connection with those cases.
He said these reports are causing police to expend already stretched resources.
If police receive three reports of a missing person in one day, no search can be less extensive than the other, he noted.
“In most cases police could have been solving crimes and protecting members of the public,” Dean said.
He urged parents who have not done so to take charge of their households.
Dean declined to give any numbers on how many missing teens reports were recorded in recent times.