A MISSING Newport teenager may not want to be found, Gwent Police said at a press conference this afternoon.

Nearly three weeks after 18 year old Nida Naseer went missing from outside her family home on Linton Street, Pill, police are no closer to finding the Coleg Gwent pupil.

Now the Henna Foundation, a registered charity committed to strengthening families within the Muslim Community, has made a special appeal for her to make contact.

Police want to reassure her that she does not have to return home, but just let them know she is safe and well.

Miss Naseer, a former Duffryn High School pupil, went missing while putting out bin bags on December 28 at approximately 8pm.

She is of Asian-Pakistani appearance and has long dark hair, is slim and is five feet three inches tall. She was last known to be wearing blue jeans and a black top.

Despite extensive enquiries including house to house, leaflet drops, CCTV searches, liaison with partner agencies and the community and local searches every day since her disappearance, Miss Naseer has not been located.

In a statement Gwent Police said: "While the geographical searches went beyond the original parameters and are now being reviewed, a team of officers including neighbourhood officers and detectives continue to work on the investigation."

Superintendent Mark Warrender said today: "Nida’s disappearance really is a mystery and one line of enquiry is that Nida may well not want to be found.
"She is an adult and if she wants to stay away that is her choice, but her family are desperate to know that she is safe and well, which is why the Henna Foundation - an organisation that specialises in providing Muslim families with support and advice - are encouraging her to get in touch with them if she feels more comfortable in doing so.

"For our part, we are continuing to search CCTV and to look into any information that comes in but we really haven’t had any information since her disappearance that would lead us to the positive identification of Nida.

"We continue to keep in touch with Nida’s family and to keep them updated with any progress and support them," he said. "Our message to Nida would be that even if she doesn’t want to return home for whatever reason, we would urge her to get in touch with anyone she feels comfortable contacting."

Shahien Taj, MBE, executive director at the Henna Foundation said: "Nida may well be apprehensive about getting in touch or may think that she has to return home if she does but I want to reassure her that she doesn’t.

"The community and her family just want to know that she is safe and well so a simple phone call is all it takes.

"If she doesn’t want to contact the police on 101 or her family she can easily call us at the Henna Foundation on 02920 496920 to let us know she is safe and well and we will be able to speak to her about any anxieties or worries she may have and give her any support she needs."