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Bureau GeneralCreated: 12-11-12

How do I report someone missing?

Contact your local police station. If you are extremely concerned for the person dial 999 and ask for the Police. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can text 999 (although you must be registered to do so – see www.emergencysms.org.uk). Otherwise, dial 101 and inform them you would like to report someone as missing. Alternatively, you can go in person to your local police station. Some people think that you have to wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing - this is not true. You can make a report to the police as soon as you think that person could be missing. For more information see our factsheets such as The Reference Guide.

How do I report a sighting of or have information about a missing person?

Contact the police on the 24 hour, non-emergency 101 telephone number or contact the charity Missing People who will pass the information to police. Missing People can be contacted on 116 000 or email seensomeone@missingpeople.org.uk.

Information or sightings of missing children can be reported using the Missing Kids freephone number 0808 100 8777.  The number 116 000 can also be used; it operates across Europe and is staffed by nominated missing person charities in each country.

Alternatively you can contact the Bureau on 0845 000 5481 (or +44 (0)1256 602979 if outside the UK) or email missingpersonsbureau@npia.pnn.police.uk. The Bureau can provide advice on which police force to contact or pass the information on ourselves.

All of the aforementioned organisations will accept anonymous information. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete an anonymous form https://secure.crimestoppers-uk.org/ams.form.anonymous.asp

Are there any other agencies that can help or support a family?

There are a number of organisations who can help and support a family who are searching for someone. The main point of contact for support to families is the charity Missing People who can be contacted on 116 000 or at www.missingpeople.org.uk . For more information on organisations that can provide assistance, please refer to our factsheets.p>

What can I do if I want to trace a friend/relative/natural parents?

The Bureau has produced a factsheet 'Lost Contact and Tracing Family' which may assist.

There also a few organisations that may be able to help you, their contact details are to be found on this list. They include:  

  • Missing People – lost contact within the last 5 years 
  • Salvation Army – adult members of a family but no adoptees or born outside marriage
  • British Red Cross – relatives separated by war and disasters

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