Amazing posters show missing people blinking and moving their heads

Amazing moving posters that show people blinking and moving their heads offers hope to relatives of disappeared Leah Croucher and hundreds of other missing people

  • The posters have had the word ‘missing’ taken away and replaced with ‘help us’
  • They also include 3D images showing the faces of people moving and smiling 
  • It comes after research found this was more likely to get passers-by to engage
  • It offers hope to the families of missing people desperately trying to find them 

Amazing moving posters have been put up showing missing people blinking and moving their heads, offering hope to the relatives of missing teen Leah Croucher and hundreds of other people. 

The remarkable 3D images have been put up in London by the charity Missing People in the expectation that passers-by will be more likely to engage with them. 

It is part of a wider revamp of missing people posters which has also seen the word ‘missing’ removed and replace with the phrase ‘help us’. 

They will also now include a QR code to encourage people to use social media and spread the word among their friends. 

The posters were based on academic research that suggests having a clear call to action helps people feel less scared and overwhelmed, and more likely to act. 

The move offers hope to the families of the 70,000 children who are reported missing in the UK every year, with Missing People saying many more go unreported. 

Leah Croucher was last seen in Milton Keyens on February 15, 2019. Pictured are the old poster (left) and the new poster (right) that havee been released to try and find her

The new posters debuted on billboards across London on today to mark Missing Children’s Day. 

Sites include Westfield, Westfield Stratford and Canary Wharf, and the new format will be used by Missing People for all posters moving forward. 

Among those on the posters is missing teen Leah Croucher, who disappeared from her home in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, in February 2019.

Leah, who was 19 at the time, is one of those featured on the new posters, and earlier this year police said they are still committed in their search to find her.

Her mother, Claire Croucher, said she was amazed to see the new image of her daughter and hoped it would help find her.

‘One of the many challenges as a parent of a missing person is trying to communicate who you’ve lost,’ she said.

‘We feel that if the public were to understand who our daughter is, they are more likely to remember seeing or meeting her.

‘Seeing Leah’s face move and smile on these amazing new posters is wonderful and gives us renewed hope that Leah – and other missing people like her – will be reunited their families.’   

One of the new posters for missing teen Finn Layland-Stratfield. The 17-year-old disappeared from Tintagel in Cornwall on July 8, 2017

In April Senior Investigating Officer Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, of Thames Valley Police said: ‘We remain absolutely committed to finding Leah and seeking answers for her family.’

It is thought the new posters showing 3D images, smiling faces and QR codes will improve effectiveness and memorability, with the background showing maps of where they were last seen. 

Anita Braga, who led the research at behavioural science consultancy Influence at Work, said: ‘Very often people do want to act, but they feel like they don’t have the means to, they feel a bit overwhelmed by the situation maybe, and so by telling them “help us” find rather than “missing”.

‘Giving a clear call to action is a way to make them feel empowered and also feel empathy towards the person they’re looking for.

‘And then the second thing is the image – we really worked on improving the image clarity and to give the feeling that there is actually a person behind that picture.’

Steve Martin, chief executive of Influence at Work, said: ‘It takes a village to find a missing person – not a single individual that’s kind of motivated to do it.

One of the new posters for Alexander Soley. He went missing at the age of 16 from Islington in London on August 2, 2008

‘So, even if a couple of dozen extra people see that image, they connect with it, they feel some empathy towards it, that could make the difference and it could help a family who has had their whole life not just disrupted but destroyed because they don’t know where their loved one is.’

Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People said: ‘70,000 children and young people are reported missing every year in the UK, and many more go unreported. Missing People is there for anyone affected, every day of the year.

‘When it is appropriate to publicise someone’s disappearance, our appeals are a hugely important way to reach the public, to help find children. 

‘By embracing innovation, we hope the new appeals will have an even greater impact and lead to those featured being found safely.

‘We are proud to bring the public, the media and business together to make a unique difference to people affected in communities across the UK.’

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