Am I missing, and what does this mean?

What is missing?

Police forces use the definition: “Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located and their wellbeing or otherwise confirmed. This means that if you are expected to be at home and aren’t there, or haven’t arrived at somewhere you’re supposed to be, you may be reported missing.”

Who reported me missing?

It could be someone at home; a family member or carer. It could be someone who was expecting to see you or hear from you, like an employer, colleague, friend or relative. Or, it could be a professional who has been helping you, like a keyworker, social worker or mental health worker.

Am I in trouble?

It is not illegal to go missing. The police will look for you to check you are safe and well. If you are over 18 they won’t make you go home or say where you are. However, if you are under a Section or they think you are at serious risk of harm, they will have to take you to a safe place.

How do I know if I’m missing?

You may have seen a missing appeal for yourself or received a message from us. This means that you have been reported missing. You may have had calls or messages from the police, or seen them looking for you. If you speak to the police, they can confirm whether you are missing or not. This may be difficult to do, so we can ask them on your behalf, or connect you to them on a 3-way call to talk about what’s happening.

How do I stop being missing?

To stop looking for you as a missing person, the police need to see you in person to do a ‘Safe and Well Check’. Once this is done they will close the investigation. This check can be done by any police officer – it doesn’t need to be in the place you went missing from. So if you are in a different town or city, you can go to a local police station or approach an officer if you see one in public.

I’m not missing, so why are they looking for me?

The police will be looking for you because nobody knows where you are, so they need to check that you are okay. Sometimes, there may have been a mis-understanding that led to someone reporting you missing. We can help you to sort things out with the police.


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