Core services for police missing person investigations

At Missing People, we are proud of our partnership working with UK police forces. We provide local and national support to police, and we are able to provide training, expert inputs, and consultancy work to many different professionals.

Family Support

Missing People offers support, advice and practical help to families members if someone they love has gone missing. We can also help if they’ve lost touch with a family member. Families can talk to us about how they’re feeling and what their options are, as well as access a full range of Missing People’s services for as long as they need them, including: 24 Hour Family Support and the option to be referred for Counselling.

Missing person support

If a missing person is in crisis or unsure of what to do, our specialist team at Missing People are here to listen and support them. We can help them talk things through and pass a Message Home in confidence should they wish to do so. The charity can’t trace their calls, texts or emails. We’re here to work with them, to explain their options and try to get them the help they need. Their safety and wellbeing is our priority.


We can tailor make a publicity package to suit the police’s investigative needs, providing targeted local or national publicity which reaches out to the public for information and to the missing person to get in touch. Publicity about a missing person should reach two key ‘audiences’: the public, who may know something about the missing person or their whereabouts; and the missing person, who may see it and get in touch with someone as a result. In either scenario, it’s important that the person knows they have an alternative if contacting the police is too daunting.


At Police request, a supportive text message can be sent to a missing person’s phone. It lets the missing child or adult know how to reach free and confidential support via phone, text and email 24 hours a day.

The text is sent from Missing People rather than from the police. Therefore, those who might be hesitant to contact the police still have access to assistance from a ‘neutral’ confidential charity. It may be that as a result of getting in contact with Missing People, the missing person then decides to initiate contact with the police, their family or social services.

Make a referral

If you are handling a missing person investigation and would like to make a referral for any of the above services, visit our referrals pages.

Make a referral

“As busy police officers it’s great to have the charity Missing People on our side, particularly with publicity and the publication /distribution of posters. They are able to reach out very quickly both locally and nationally and this has allowed us to focus on our core role of investigation. Actively referring families to them for support has also greatly helped in reducing pressure for us as they invest heavily in taking time to answer the many questions that they rightly have.

I can’t speak highly enough about the support that we have had over many years from Missing People and I would recommend all forces to make full use of their free services.”

– Detective Inspector Phil Shakesheff, West Mercia Police

If you would like to talk to us about what we can offer your investigation, please get in touch with our partnerships team.

Sign up to be a Digital Search Hero

We have launched a regular email so that you can be aware of new missing person appeals and share them far and wide! We are also calling on all Heroes to be the eyes and ears for Missing People on the ground. Your sighting of a missing person could make a difference in a crucial time.