The Hamilton Police established a Missing Persons Unit in 2011 and currently oversees over 1,700 cases each year.  Missing persons cases includes:

• Runaway youths
• Voluntarily missing adults
• Children and adults living with autism, seniors affected by alzheimer’s / dementia, and others living with cognitive disorders Missing Persons
• Parental abductions where there is immediate danger to the child
• Non-family abductions
• Unknown circumstances
• Unusual/suspicious circumstances

The majority of missing persons are located within three days; most are located within 24 hours of being reported missing however some investigations can go on for months, even years. 
All reports of lost or missing persons shall be thoroughly investigated in accordance with the level of risk and documented on a Missing Person Report.  All reports of missing persons where one or more risk factors are present shall be dispatched for a mobile response, in accordance with the Priority Response System.  The safety and welfare of a missing person is always the most important consideration

Victim Services Branch - (905)546-4904 (24/7)

Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton (905)529-7030

Autism Ontario (905)528-8476

Senior Support Officers (905)540-5351 (Division 10), (905)546-2945 (Division 20), (905)546-8917 (Division 30)

Missing Persons

This new partnership provides Hamilton police officers with direct access to personal and caregiver information relating to some of Hamilton’s most vulnerable citizens through their MedicAlert ID bracelets. This will benefit citizens who are prone to wandering away from their environment regardless of age – children and adults living with autism, seniors affected by dementia, and others living with cognitive disorders.

In an emergency, this new service, called MedicAlert Connect Protect, gives police officers direct 24-hour access to a registered MedicAlert member’s photo, identity and medical information through their MedicAlert ID. Connect Protect helps officers with information to conduct their search more efficiently, ensuring those who have gone missing are reunited with their loved ones sooner.

For more information about this program and MedicAlert's partnership with the Hamilton Police Service please click on the links below:

MedicAlert Tear Away.pdf

MedicAltert Media Centre - Hamilton Police Service announces partnership with MedicAlert Foundation Canada

Spectator Article: Hamilton police launch bracelet program to help find missing people

CBC Hamilton: Police team with MedicAlert to help find missing people

AM680: Hamilton Police partner with Medic Alert Foundation in search for missing persons

Missing Persons Act, 2018

Summary of Regulations

This act describes the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services’ regulations under the Missing Persons Act, 2018, relating to the following:

  1. Urgent Demands for Records and,
  2. Annual Reports

BACKGROUND

The Missing Persons Act was passed on March 8, 2018, and has been in force since July 2019.

The act addresses current barriers faced by police officers in Ontario when investigating missing person occurrences. Prior to July 2019, police officers were limited in their ability to investigate reports of missing persons when there was no evidence of criminal activity. In these non-criminal situations, police officers were often denied access to records and permission to conduct searches of premises to assist in locating the missing person. The legislation is intended to help police officers respond more effectively to missing persons occurrences by allowing, in certain circumstances, access to records (for example, telephone, banking, and travel), and powers to search premises, while balancing considerations for an individual’s privacy.

OVERVIEW OF THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, 2018

The act includes provisions that:

  1. Define a missing person, for the purpose of using powers in this legislation
  2. Create powers for police officers to use, in certain circumstances, to help locate a missing person.These powers are the ability to: Obtain a court order for a person or entity, to produce records that may assist in locating a missing person;
  3. Obtain a search warrant to allow entry onto a premises to locate a missing person;
  4. Make an urgent demand for records without a court order in certain circumstances.
  5. Provide what information about a missing person can be publicly disclosed by police services,
  6. Establish reporting requirements, including the release of an annual report, for the purpose of accountability.

The act can be read in full at: Missing Persons Act, 2018

REGULATIONS RELATED TO URGENT DEMANDS FOR RECORDS

Context

Under the Missing Persons Act, 2018, an officer who makes an urgent demand for records is required to:

  • Provide a written report to a member of the police service, designated by the chief of police, which outlines the records that were demanded, and how the requirements under the act for an urgent demand for records were met; and
  • Make reasonable efforts to provide notice to a person whose information has been produced from an urgent demand for record.

REGULATIONS RELATED TO ANNUAL REPORTS

Under the act, police services are required to report annually on the use of urgent demands for records by members of the police service. This includes:

  • The total number of urgent demands made that year and the number of missing persons investigations to which they related;
  • A description of the types of records specified in the urgent demands for records made in that year.
  • The police service board, entity, or Minister receiving the annual report must make the report available to the public.

Under the Missing Persons Act, 2018, police services are required to report annually on the use of urgent demands for records by members of the police service. This includes:

  • The total number of urgent demands made that year and the number of missing persons investigations to which they related;
  • A description of the types of records specified in the urgent demands for records made in that year.
  • The police service board, entity, or Minister receiving the annual report must make the report available to the public.

Please find the following Hamilton Police Missing Person Annual Reports click here

Hamilton Police recognize the need to investigate missing person’s reports in an efficient and effective manner.

Prior to reporting a missing person the following steps must be completed.
• check area hospitals
• check with friends, acquaintances and family members
• check with school and/or employer
• check places that the person frequents

The primary question when determining if a person is missing or not is: Is this out of character for this individual?  To ensure all cases are handled appropriately and ensure the continuity of the risk assessment, all missing persons must be reported to the police information line at  (905) 546-4925.

 

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