The police officer leading the search for a Sheffield teenager has called for a volunteer to reach out and help the force forge better links with the Roma-Slovak community.
Supt Paul McCurry said he wanted a member of the public to act as a ‘facilitator’ with the community as the hunt for Pamela Horvathova enters its fourth week.
Pamela, 16, and originally from Slovakia, was last seen leaving Sheffield College’s Granville Road complex at around 2.05pm on Tuesday, December 18.
Police declared her disapperance a 'critical incident’ on Tuesday and Supt McCurry said officers have found it 'difficult’ to communicate with members of the community.
Supt McCurry said: “I am appealing for a community facilitator. What I want is somebody from the Roma-Slovak community that could say: ‘I would like to be involved with helping police find Pamela’.
“Pamela’s family come from a very small village in Slovakia called Bystrany and do not speak any English.
"Can someone come forward and help us find Pamela?”
Supt McCurry said the case had been made ‘complicated’ by the language difficulties and cultural traditions of the community.
He said: “This case has been made really complicated because it's difficult for us to communicate with the family and wider network.”
CCTV footage released earlier this week showed Pamela leaving college with two boys but Supt McCurry said they had both been spoken to and did not know where she went.
Supt McCurry said: “These two people just happened to leave with her – it was not a pre-planned meeting.”
Pamela was last seen wearing a dark hooded jacket and blue jeans and was wearing her hair on top of her hair in a bun.
Supt McCurry said she was learning English at college and added officers were continuing to examine CCTV footage of a possible sighting of Pamela at ice Sheffield on Wednesday, December 19.
Officers have also held two community meetings in Darnall and Fir Vale to try and piece together her movements after leaving college.
Supt McCurry added: “The community are really concerned and we are really concerned.
“Please help us find Pamela.”
Anyone who sees Pamela should call 999 immeditately.
To pass on other information or if you would like to volunteer as a ‘community faciltator’ call police on 101, quoting incident number 941 of December 24.