'One missing child per hour' in Istanbul
DHA photoThe Istanbul police department has stated that the number of missing children notices has risen in the last three years.
Referring to the latest statistics, the head of the police department's children's bureau, Murat Koçak, said the bureau received an average of 10 missing child notices every day three years ago, but that it had received 25 notices per day last year. Some 97 percent of these notices were related to missing children, he said.
Koçak stressed that the Istanbul police took all missing child notices as seriously as a murder notice, adding that if a missing child was not found within the following 24 hours after the notice the incident automatically became a suspected crime.
"We made considerable progress last year with training, and succeeded in finding missing children in six days, on average. It used to take us an average of 12 days," Koçak said.
Underlining the importance of first three hours after disappearance, the police chief expressed his regret about the missing children between 15-18 years of age because in most cases these are escaping from violent homes, he said.