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Missing People

There is no time limit on when you can report a missing person. You don't have to wait 24 hours.

Before reporting someone missing

  • Search their home or the place the person was last seen, in case they are hiding or may have fallen and been injured. Remember that children can hide in very small spaces
  • Look out for any notes or clues that may suggest where they may be
  • Check to see if they have left you a message on your phone, voicemail or online
  • Contact family members, friends and the person’s place of work to verify that they are actually missing and not simply somewhere unexpected

Report it

To report a missing person call 101 or visit your local police station. If it is an emergency and you feel that the missing person may be at risk of immediate harm, dial 999.  

Provide detailed information

We will take a detailed report and it will be helpful if you can provide as much of the following information as possible:

  • full name and date of birth for the missing person
  • physical description of the missing person, including what clothes and jewellery they were wearing
  • recent photograph of the missing person
  • when they were last seen and by whom
  • where they had planned to go on the day they went missing
  • contact mobile number for the person
  • name, address and contact numbers of family members and their close friends.
  • details of any medication they take and whether they have this medication with them.
  • information of any online sites that they might be a member of
  • any other relevant circumstances that may increase the risk to the missing person such as problems at work, school or at home, recent changes in behaviour that is out of character.

What the police do to find missing people

We use the information that you give to assess the level of risk that the missing person may be at.

We then consider all lines of enquiry which are appropriate and necessary in the circumstances and begin an investigation to find them.

If the missing person is not found following the initial lines of enquiry, then the investigation will be passed to a nominated officer.

Help and Support Organisations

The following organisations can help.

Missing People

Runaway Help Line

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The Salvation Army

Reunite

The Samaritans

Action Against Abduction