What do I do if someone goes missing?

It can be a worrying time when someone goes missing. However, following the correct steps can help ensure the person receives the help they need.

Our priority, working with other agencies, is to keep vulnerable people safe, locate people who are missing and ensure that they are safe and well.

When do I report a missing person?

You should report a missing person to the police immediately if:

  • The person is a child
  • The person is a vulnerable adult
  • The person has been detained (sectioned) under the Mental Health Act or are legally in the care of another person
  • You are concerned for the persons safety.

If you are worried about someone who you think might be missing, you can call 101, or visit your  local police station and provide us with as much information as you are able.

What can I do?

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

Provide detailed information to the police

The call handler, or officer at the police station, will take details of the missing person and will ask a number of questions so we have all the information we need to effectively investigate the incident.

It will be useful to know the following:

  • Full name and date of birth for the missing person
  • A physical description of the missing person, including what clothes and jewellery they were wearing (if known)
  • A recent photograph of the missing person
  • When they were last seen and by whom
  • Their plans on the day they went missing
  • Provide a contact mobile number for the person
  • Names, addresses and contact numbers of family members and their close friends
  • Details of any prescription medication they take and whether they have this medication with them
  • Information of any social networking sites that they might be a member of.

Useful Links: 

 Wiltshire Police Child Sexual Exploitation information

 Missing People

 Missing persons Bureau


 Salvation Army

 Missing Abroad

 Reunite (Parental child abduction)


 Pact (Parental child abduction).

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