The Queensland Police Service launched a new missing persons recovery application this week as part of 2016’s National Missing Persons Week.
The app will be available to a limited number of police equipped with QLiTE mobile devices on August 22 for a six-week trial, and if successful, will be made available to all officers.
Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart said the app is “the future.”
“It will significantly modernise our approach to accurately capturing critical information for missing persons” Commissioner Stewart said in a press conference this morning.
The new app could save up to half an hour when collating information for missing persons and help provide a more detailed report for police.
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) August 1, 2016
A Queensland Police spokesperson said the app is limited to Queensland at this time.
Over 100 missing persons are reported to police each week and police extensive detailed information is required to locate and recover missing people.
The app is set to allow the majority of the information collection and transfer to happen in the field.
Usually this information is collected manually and transcribed into police systems, but with the development of the app the process will become quicker, more accessible and more reliable.
Commissioner Stewart outlined the advantages of the app, including the elimination of the need to re-enter data into the system in time-sensitive missing persons cases, and that all officers in the state can then access that information on their mobile devices.
Amber Alerts will also be automatically rolled out in the case of high-risk missing persons with the new technology.
“While I am pleased with the Amber Alert system currently, anything that will help speed up this process is certainly a good thing,” Commissioner Stewart said.
— Ian Stewart (@CoPStewart) August 2, 2016
MP for Ferny Grove Mark Furner, representing the Queensland Minister for Police, congratulated QPS for their initiative in developing the app.
“It is important that we look after our persons in our communities and also alleviate the trauma and heartache that a number of our people go through in their times of distress when they have a loved one missing in their community,” Mr Furner said.
The app was announced in conjunction with the 2016 Missing Persons Week campaign, ‘Stay Connected’.
Legislation surrounding privacy, especially regarding missing children, means it is unlikely the app will be available to the public, especially for contributions.
For more information on missing persons and Missing Persons Week 2016, visit https://www.missingpersons.gov.au/.