What happens when someone goes missing and what does not? The Hon. Gloria J. Epstein, Head of the Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations presents background and recommendations in the Report Missing and Missed.
Staff and members of Sound Times met with Justice Epstein and her team as part of the public consultation into the problems and solutions of the missing person system.
Members discussed troubles finding missing friends and the need to sometimes go missing to avoid dangers.
Consultations at ST:
- People wanted to find their friends but did not know where to go.
- There were privacy laws preventing agencies or police from providing information.
- Members would never go to the police for help.
- We need to have better systems for friends to find out if someone has been found.
Need to go missing:
- Some members needed to be apart sometimes to avoid danger or to find new opportunities and to separate from their past.
- This means that they did not want to have more surveillance and tracking.
What if no one is looking?
- Members knew people who were disconnected from anyone and did not have anyone to push a search or report that they were missing to the police. Is there a role for police or agencies to start the search?
Bottom line: Members suggested that there needed to be a non-police organization to handle missing person cases.
About The Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations
The Independent Civilian Review into Missing Person Investigations (the “Review”) was prompted, in large part, by the tragic deaths of members of Toronto’s LGBTQ2S+ communities and by deep concerns about how the Toronto Police Service (the “TPS”) conducted the investigations into their disappearances. The Review is designed to evaluate how the TPS has conducted and is conducting missing person investigations, particularly in relation to LGBTQ2S+ and marginalized and vulnerable communities, make recommendations to promote efficient, effective and discrimination-free investigations and better police relations with affected communities. For more information, please visit www.missingpersonsreview.ca.