If someone goes missing, contact anyone you think may know their whereabouts – if you’re still concerned, contact your local police.

You don’t have to wait 24 hours before contacting the police.

The police may ask you:

  • for their photo
  • details of their friends or relatives
  • details of places the person often visits
  • whether they had a medical condition
  • for a sample of their DNA, eg from a toothbrush

With a relative’s permission, they may also ask to search the person’s home.

The person will be recorded as missing and their details made available to other UK police forces within 48 hours.

Knowing when someone is found

If the police find a person aged under 18, their parent(s) or guardian(s) will usually be told their whereabouts unless police believe the child’s safety is at risk.

If the person is aged over 18, the police won’t pass on their whereabouts without their permission.

Organisations that help find missing people

You can contact:

People missing abroad

If someone goes missing abroad you should contact:

  • your local police - they will contact the police force in the relevant country (through Interpol)
  • the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500 (ask for ‘Consular Protection’)

Find out about call charges.

You can also contact the charity Missing Abroad.

Report a sighting of a missing person

If you spot a missing person contact the police.

If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Missing People to report the sighting.

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