THE Fiji Police Force is concerned with the number of missing persons reports it receives every month.
For this month alone, police have received 17 missing persons reports so far in the Central Division.
The youngest missing person was an 11-year-old who failed to return home after school.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said parents should be vigilant with their children as the festive season approached.
"People are advised to stay safe and one of our biggest concerns during this time is usually to do with the movement of people," she said.
"A lot of missing persons cases are reported during this time and communication is vital with your loved ones."
From the 17 missing persons reports, they were able to re-unite 10 people with their families.
"The 10 were either staying at their friends', relatives' or partners' place and failed to inform their parents and family of their whereabouts," Ms Naisoro said.
She said in most cases teenagers and young adults were the ones who were reported missing by their guardians and parents.
"A directive has been issued whereby officers must act on a missing report immediately and not wait for the 24-hour period as was the practice before.
"However, we would still like to emphasise the importance of keeping in touch and informing your parents and family members of your whereabouts."
Ms Naisoro said in most cases, teenagers and young adults ran away from home because of conflicts and other family disputes that arose.
"When people choose to run off as a way of venting their anger, they don't realise the stress and pain it causes their loved ones.
"We're advising people to be more understanding towards each other as everyone should be given a chance to be heard," she said.