Research and information

A collection of current knowledge about the issue of missing as well as our research reports, projects, collaborations and events.  

Understanding the reasons why people go missing and the impact on families left behind enables Missing People and our partners to provide better services.

Missing People’s research team conducts research and evaluation projects on a range of topics, and seeks to share the findings through these web pages. 

The Policy and Research team also provides a hub of information about missing, advocates for change through campaigns and policy work, and monitors and evaluates the charity's impact.

Missing News

The Policy and Research team circulates a regular newsletter, Missing News, containing up to date information about research, policy, events and sector developments. To sign up to Missing News, or to read previous editions, click here.

Article Index

From here you can download research publications, free of charge, in PDF format.

Below are also copies of Missing People's  survey reports, conference presentations and consultation submissions. Research reports are ordered by date, most recent first.

Research reports

Community Mental Health Teams and the response to Missing Patients (2015)

This research explores the response of Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) when a patient in the community goes missing. The report addresses whether CMHTs ever discharge missing patients and how they respond when a missing patient returns. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report, or click here or on the image on the right for an infographic summarising the key findings. (Rickford, R. 2015).




When the Search is Over: Reconnecting missing children and adults (2014) 

When the Search is Over report cover image

This project explored the ways in which missing people reconnect to family, carers or a place of safety, and makes recommendations for improvements in the way reconnections are facilitated and supported. The full report can be downloaded by clicking on the report title above and this, a summary report and individual chapters are available to download from the project page at: 'When the Search is Over' (Holmes, L. 2014). 



People with Intellectual Disabilities Going Missing (2012)

People with Intellectual Disabilities Going Missing report cover image

This research highlights the relationship between intellectual disability and going missing, with a view to offering better support to people who may be considered at risk of going missing. The paper seeks to define terms such as 'intellectual disability' and 'missing', using specific cases to highlight areas to focus on for improving support for vulnerable people. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report as a PDF. (Rickford, R. 2012).



Going Missing on a Night Out: Men found dead in water (2011) Going Missing on a Night Out report cover image

Missing People research report Learning from Fatal Disappearances (Newiss, 2011) highlighted a specific group of cases involving young men who had gone missing on a night out and were later found dead in water. Going missing on a night out: men found dead in water is a research summary that gives further details on cases identified in 2010 and in the first four months of 2011. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report as a PDF. (Newiss, G. 2011).



Learning from Callers to Runaway Helpline and Message Home (2011)

Learning from Callers to Runaway Helpline and Message Home report cover image

Missing People, supported by the Oak Foundation, conducted a two-year study of the charity's 24/7, free, confidential Runaway Helpline and Message Home services. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report. (Holmes, L. 2011).



Learning from Fatal Disappearances (2011)

Learning from Fatal Disappearances report cover image

Learning from Fatal Disappearances, published by Missing People, is a study of 250 missing incidents that were closed by the charity over a two-year period. The research has important implications for many agencies working with missing people, including Missing People, the police, the wider social care sector and the government. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report. (Newiss, G. 2011).





Reconnect Network Westminster Pilot Evaluation (2011)

Safeguarding and Reconnecting report cover image

In 2010, the Department of Health funded the pilot of an information-sharing protocol in the London Borough of Westminster. This report outlines the evaluation of this pilot and recommendations for future development. Click here or on the report title above to download the summary report. To download the full evaluation report, please click here. (Holmes, L. and Diamond, F. 2011).



Lost from View: A study of missing persons in the UK (2003)

Lost from View report cover image

Lost from View, a publication by the University of York, presents findings from the most extensive study of missing persons yet undertaken in the UK. It provides important new information on the motivations and circumstances of both missing adults and children, and is the first study to draw directly on the  views and experiences of missing adults themselves. Click here or on the report title above to download the full report. To download the summary report, please click here. (Biehal, N., Mitchell, F. and Wade, J. 2003).




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