Report a missing person
There is no time limit on when you can report a missing person or child. You do not have to wait 24 hours.
- Step 1: Before reporting someone missing
- Step 2: Gather detailed information
- Step 3: Report a missing person
- Step 4: Next steps and police involvement
Step 1 : Step 1: 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, children can hide in very small spaces.
- Look out for any notes or clues which may suggest where the missing person 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 they are actually missing and not simply somewhere unexpected.
Step 2 : Step 2: Gather detailed information
We will take a detailed report. 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 who was the last to see them.
- Where they had planned to go on the day they went missing.
- Contact mobile number for the missing 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 of which they might be a member.
- Any other relevant circumstances which may increase the risk to the missing person. This could include problems at work, school or at home or recent changes in behaviour which are out of character.
Step 3 : Step 3: Report a missing person
If it is an emergency and you feel that the missing person may be at risk of immediate harm, dial 999.
Report a missing person:
- by phone – call 101
- in person – visit your local police station
Step 4 : Step 4: Next steps and police involvement
We use the information you provide to assess the level of risk the missing person may be at following nationally agreed risk levels. The higher the risk the more we do, the lower the risk the less we do.
We consider all lines of enquiry which are appropriate and necessary in the circumstances.
Dementia Safeguarding Scheme
The Dementia Safeguarding Scheme (Herbert Protocol) allows you to give information to the police about someone you know who has dementia. In the event of the person going missing, we will use this information to help locate them.
Register someone for the Dementia Safeguarding Scheme.
Philomena Protocol – Safeguarding young people
The Philomena Protocol is a national scheme encouraging agencies, carers, guardians, families and friends to record vital information which can be used in the event of a vulnerable young person going missing.
Find out how the Philomena Protocol works.