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Royal Mail postmen and women are to receive images of high risk missing people on their handheld digital devices for the first time, as part of a major update to the Partnership’s alerts system.
Royal Mail joined forces with Missing People in 2014 after a child was reported missing on postman Vincent Micallef’s round in London. Vincent saw that postmen and women could play a major role by keeping an eye out for missing people on their rounds.
Since then 120,000 postmen and women all over the country have received high risk missing people alerts via their handheld digital devices. Royal Mail staff are sent the alerts if a high-risk missing person is believed to be in their area.
Since the system was launched, 212 alerts for missing people have been issued to Royal Mail’s hand-held PDA Network, and 164 people have been found safe and well.
Now high risk missing alerts issued to the Royal Mail’s hand-held PDA Network include images of the missing person as well as physical descriptions. It is believed that this will greatly increase the chances that postmen and women will recognise a missing person whilst working in their communities.
Somebody in the UK is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. Missing People operates a free and confidential helpline which provides round the clock support to those who are away from home, as well as the families struggling to cope with the disappearance of a loved one.
Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People, said:
“Families waiting for news have told us how much of a comfort and encouragement it is to know that postal workers are helping in the search for their loved ones. We believe that this new update will give Royal Mail’s frontline staff the best chance possible to recognise vulnerable missing people in their communities, helping reunite them with their families.”
Royal Mail Director of Public Affairs & Policy, David Gold, said: “Postmen and women are uniquely well placed to keep an eye out for people when they are out and about in their local community. Including pictures in our established alert system will help to make it easier for us to play a part in reuniting more people with their families and loved ones.”