Letter: Protect the missing
Friday 30 October 1998
Of the reasons she outlines, the most important of all, perhaps, is that such publicity could infringe the privacy of the person who is being sought. Whilst someone may be absent from the family, he or she could have good reasons for not being found. Experience confirms that when a relative is reported missing (other than those who are obviously at risk), only one side of the family story is presented. It may be the truth, part of the truth or anything but the truth.
At The Salvation Army we never use media publicity for searches (and yet we trace 10 people every working day). Such publicity could be at best embarrassing and at worst distressing or even dangerous for the person who is sought. And even if the missing person does not respond personally to publicity, other well-meaning folk may do so on his or her behalf, resulting in a major breach of confidentiality.
It should also be borne in mind that of all people reported missing, more than 98 per cent are accounted for within 72 hours. In many cases, therefore, missing person reports will only find themselves on the Worldwide Web, and being read, long after the subject has been found.
Finally, the idea of publicising vulnerable people on a website fills me with unease. Not all surfers of the web are good Samaritans.
Family Tracing Service
The Salvation Army
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
- 5 Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Downton Abbey fans outraged at Kindle sponsorship adverts
Cilla, episode 2, ITV, review: Sheridan Smith continues to shine as the young singer
Kendrick Lamar announces new song 'i' following leak
Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster
Top Gear to launch in France after Jeremy Clarkson banned from driving on roads
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God