219. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons listed as missing; the extent to which their cases are the subject of ongoing investigation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35739/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): While An Garda Síochána receive an estimated 8,000 reports of missing persons a year, the majority are located within a short period of time. The number of persons currently listed as missing since 2011 is 133.
All incidents where persons have been reported missing remain under investigation until such time as the person is located. An Garda Síochána reviews all missing persons cases on a regular basis. The District Officer (Superintendent) in the area where a person has gone missing takes direct responsibility for all investigations and searches carried out. Local investigation teams are appointed by the District Officer, and all means considered necessary, including the services of specialist units, are deployed to assist in these investigations. The services of Interpol and Europol can also be availed of during such investigations, if necessary.
The Garda Missing Persons Bureau, which is responsible for all data relating to missing persons, provides assistance and advice to District Officers in all high risk missing persons cases. The Garda authorities are satisfied that adequate resources, including staff and technology, are in place and investigations are carried out in line with international best practice. All available opportunities to disseminate information regarding missing persons cases are availed of, including through media organisations and the Garda Community Text Alert scheme.