This page aims to answer your most frequently asked questions.
To report a sighting members of the public should call the 24 hour Missing People charity Freefone number 0500 700 700
How do I report someone missing?
Contact 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. The Missing Persons Bureau cannot receive reports of missing people directly from the public. If the missing person lives in a different part of the country, details will be recorded by the informant's local police and passed on to the relevant police force. In the event that the person is missing abroad details will be taken by the local police and passed to Interpol who will initiate enquiries in the country in which the person was last seen. You may also wish to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK consulate or embassy of that country.
My child has been reported missing. How do I get their details featured on Missing Kids?
Speak to the officer dealing with the investigation and advise them that you would like to have details of your child featured on the Missing Kids website. They will ask you to sign a consent form which will also need to be countersigned by the officer in the case and returned to the relevant police force who will then add details to the site.
I have lost contact with my friend/relative and would like to get back in touch with them - can I report them missing to the police?
There are a number of organisations who may be able to assist in family tracing, including the Salvation Army. You may also wish to consider viewing the voters register available at your local library or use the internet where there are a number of websites involved in tracing friends, family, ex-colleagues, etc. However, if you are concerned for the safety of your friend/relative you should report it to your local police station.
I have been reported missing, I don't want my family to know where I am, but would like them to know I am OK.
You should attend your local police station in person, provide proof of your identity and tell them that you have been reported missing. Alternatively, please e-mail the MPB with your full name, DOB, contact telephone number, postal and e-mail addresses. We will contact the local police and they will speak to you to confirm that you are safe and let your family know you are safe. In most circumstances the police will respect your wishes for your family not to be informed. However, if you are a vulnerable individual (e.g. a juvenile, suffering from a mental illness) the police have a duty to protect you and may decide on the basis of a risk assessment to take different action. The charity Missing People provides advice and assistance to missing persons and has a runaway helpline and a message home service.
How do I report a sighting of or information about a missing person?
If you have seen or have any information about a missing person, please call Missing People confidentially on Freefone 0500 700 700 in the UK or +44 (0) 20 8392 4545 from outside the UK or follow this link. Alternatively you can contact us or your local police force. You may wish to contact Crimestoppers if you would prefer to report your sighting anonymously. If you are unsure where the person is missing from or you are contacting us from outside the UK, please contact us with any information and we will pass this to the investigating police force.
I am trying to trace my family tree. Can you help?
It is not within the remit of the MPB or the police to assist in cases of family tracing. There are a number of organisations involved in this field who may be able to assist and can easily be found on the internet.
I was adopted as a child and I am now trying to trace my natural parents.
A number of organisations such as NORCAP may be able to assist. You are able to leave details on their Contact Register which will enable parents and children to contact each other but only if both are entered onto this register.
Where possible we have included downloadable files in Adobe PDF format. To view these files you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader which you can download free from Adobe's website here.