Well that will certainly speed things up won't it? Huh!Toronto police to delete missing persons' last name, gender
The goal of these changes is to better protect the missing person in the future
Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Published Feb 03, 2023 • 1 minute read
The Toronto Police is changing the way they release information relating to missing persons.
Effective immediately, news releases and social media posts will no longer routinely include the person’s surname or gender but will include their photo and first name.
The goal of these changes, made in consultation with the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit and the Missing and Missed Implementation Team (MMIT), is to better protect the missing person in the future.
“Someone may go into a job interview five years after they’ve had that experience of being a missing person,” said Toronto Police Det. Shona Patterson of the Homicide and Missing Persons Unit.
“And we know we all turn to Google and we may want to Google that person. First of all it’s much harder to find that person on Google when it’s just the first name. And so we just want to be able to reduce that stigma, that hardship, that somebody may experience in the future. I talk about employers but it could be a potential relationship or co-workers or friends that have Googled you and now you’re having to explain yourself five years, or six years down the road.”
While Toronto Police plan to routinely not use last names and gender, there may be circumstances in which they do, for instance if a photograph of the missing individual is not available.
“We will definitely keep an eye on things,’ said Patterson. “It’s important that we have a good gauge on like what’s hitting with our community as well. Like ‘What is it in that media release that engages people the most?’ Photo and video are really big things.”