It can be traumatic when someone goes missing. It is critical that you take immediate action, especially when the person could be in danger.
A missing person is anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established. They will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed.
All reports of missing people sit within a continuum of risk from 'no apparent risk (absent)' through to those that require immediate, intensive action.
What to do if someone you know goes missing
Before calling the police, take the following steps to try to locate the missing person
How to report a missing person
You can report a missing person to us at any time. You do not need to wait 24 hours before making a report.
Call us on 101, or 999 if the missing person is a child, or someone thought to be at serious risk or harm.
If there are reasons why speaking to us might be difficult, you can also report to the charity Missing People on 116 000.
If you call, we may ask you to provide the following about the missing person:
What happens once you have reported someone missing?
We will use the information that you supply to assess the level of risk that the person may be at while missing. We will then consider all appropriate lines of enquiry, which may include:
If the missing person returns, please let us know. We may wish to see them to confirm that they have returned and that are safe and well.
What to do if you think you are reported as a missing person?
Contact us, or the charity Missing People
Missing People is a national, independent charity and offers support to missing people and their families. The charity works closely with police forces across the UK and can offer a range of services to support missing person investigations. Missing People is a confidential service and cannot trace your calls
Tel: 116000 (24 hours)
Samaritans provide emotional support to anyone who is struggling to cope and needs someone to listen.
Local branches can be visited during the day.
Helpline: 116 123 Every day, 24 hours
SMS: 07725 909090
National Missing Person Unit
The National Missing Person Unit and the Missing Children's Team (both of which are part of the National Crime Agency CEOP Command) work with the police and related organisations to improve services to missing person investigations.
The National Missing Person Unit serves all UK police forces as well as international and overseas police agencies, and is a part of a wider network of partners including other government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and stakeholders.