Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Four of 5 Missing Persons Reported in Winnipeg Are Kids in Manitoba Care: Police

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Four of 5 Missing Persons Reported in Winnipeg Are Kids in Manitoba Care: Police

Article excerpt

Most missing persons are government wards: police

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WINNIPEG - Police in Winnipeg say four out of five missing persons reports they receive every month involve kids in the care of Manitoba Child and Family Services.

A report prepared for the city's police board says officers deal with an average of about 550 missing persons reports a month. Of those, 83 per cent involve kids in government care and 71 per cent are female.

Another police report prepared for the same board meeting shows the top 19 addresses associated with missing persons reports are Child and Family Services facilities.

"The vast majority of missing persons reported are short-term chronic runaways," the report says. "Most are vulnerable indigenous youth who are in the care of Child and Family Services."

The police figures also show that "habitual/chronic" missing persons accounted for almost 70 per cent of all 709 missing persons reported between April and June and that 22 people accounted for 20 per cent of the reports during those three months.

Winnipeg police are refusing to comment on the numbers until they are formally presented to the city Friday.

Federal government statistics show Manitoba had the highest number of missing persons reports involving children and youth per capita in Canada last year. There were just over 6,400 missing persons reports involving young people -- nearly twice that of Saskatchewan and Alberta.

One of them was 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, who ran away from a hotel where she was in the care of Child and Family Services. Her body was found wrapped in a bag in the Red River.

Manitoba has been grappling with its troubled child-welfare system for years. …

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