25 April 08

The total number of missing children cases reported in New York State declined in 2007, but there was an uptick in the number of children who were abducted by family members and those who were reported lost, according to a report issued by the Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse at the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

A total of 21,100 children were reported missing last year, compared to 21,613 in 2006. The vast majority of reports – a total of 19,504 – involved runaways, lost children and abductions by family members or acquaintances. Of those 21,100 reports, which involve children 17 years old or younger: 5,839 were reported from New York City; 4,806 were reported from suburban New York City (Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island and Rockland and Westchester counties); and 10,446 were reported Upstate.Nearly 21,000 of the 21,100 missing child cases were closed in 2007, with 43 percent of those being resolved when the child voluntarily returned home. Law enforcement officials were involved in the return of a child in 23 percent of those closed cases.

“We all teach our children to be wary of strangers. Unfortunately, these statistics show that children are often placed in harm’s way by someone who knows them,” DCJS Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell said. “Through our Missing and Exploited Children Clearinghouse, we offer a variety of programs designed to help parents talk to their children about personal safety in a way that stresses awareness, empowerment and instilling a sense of caution.”

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(Bolding is mine. Hoppy)