Missing People is a national, independent charity established in 1993 that offers a lifeline to the 250,000 people who run away and go missing each year, as well as the families they leave behind.
We provide free 24 hour confidential support, help and advice by phone, email, text and online, including the opportunity to reconnect. We coordinate a UK wide network of people, businesses and media to join the search. We also undertake research to understand the experiences of missing people and their families and advocate for change through policy and campaigning work.
Supporting statutory agencies
Ofcom, the communications regulator, has awarded Missing People the European hotline number for missing children in the UK - 116 000. The hotline was launched in May 2012.
The ‘missing kids’ website was multi-agency website which allowed law enforcement agencies to disseminate photographs of and information on missing children for the public to view 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Approved by the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the previous Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS), the website was managed by CEOP Command of the National Crime Agency in partnership with Missing People and Action Against Abduction. In 2017 the site was handed over to Missing People to manage. It can be accessed here.
Missing People is a formal partner of the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command.
Missing People has signed Strategic Agreements with the National Police Chief's Council (NPCC), the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ASLAR) and the National Working Group Network (NWG) - a charity and UK wide network of practitioners, policy makers and researchers, working with children and young people who are at risk of, or who experience, sexual exploitation.
Missing People currently has Memorandums of Understanding with 18 police forces. 1 Numbers with the prefix 116 were awarded to services of social value across the EU by the European Commission (2007/116/EC) in 2007
Memberships: policy and practice
Missing People was a founding member of the Prime Ministerial Task Force on Missing Persons convened in 2009. This led to the publication of the first ever cross-government strategy on Missing Children and Adults (2011) developed by the Home Office in partnership with Missing People.
Missing People is a standing member of the Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group which was formed in 2005. This group is led by ACPO and oversees the effective coordination of relevant Government departments, agencies, police forces and voluntary sector organisations working in the area of missing persons.
Missing People is a member of the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command Missing Children Advisory Board. Our role is to: hold CEOP Command to account in relation to the role it plays in delivering the cross-government strategy on Missing Children and Adults (2011), and to provide advice and expertise on CEOP Command’s programme of work to better coordinate the safety and wellbeing of missing children. The charity is also a member of the UK Missing Persons Bureau Missing Adults Advisory Group.
Missing People is a member of Missing Children Europe, the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children. As an umbrella organisation, it represents 28 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) active in 19 Member States of the European Union and Switzerland.
Missing People is a founding member of the English Coalition for Runaway Children (ECRC) which is a coalition of agencies working to safeguard young runaway and missing children. Susannah Drury, Director of Policy, Research and Development, is the vice chair of the ECRC.
Missing People is a member of the National Working Group Network (NWG), which is a UK wide network of practitioners, policy makers and researchers working with children and young people who are at risk of, or who experience, sexual exploitation.
Missing People is joint Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults with The Children’s Society.
Missing People is a member of Child Helpline International (CHI) which requires members to meet criteria related to operation and management.
Missing People is a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which sets standards for therapeutic practice.
Missing People is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board. The FRSB ‘tick’ logo is displayed on our website and is a symbol of our commitment to high standards of fundraising practice. This membership also helps the public to know they can give to Missing People with confidence.
Missing People’s services are accredited by Helplines Partnership which defines best practice in helpline work. This Quality Standard is the single most widely-held and recognised accreditation for helplines in the UK.
Missing People works in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons, which is based in the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth. The charity’s Research Manager Lucy Holmes holds an Honorary Research Fellowship within the Centre, and Missing People also chairs the Centre’s Advisory Board.
Missing People sits on a number of research advisory groups, including the recent Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research project on the ‘Geographies of missing people: processes, experiences and responses’ led by the Universities of Glasgow and Dundee; and the University of Bedfordshire’s recent research into sexual exploitation in gangs and groups. This research was commissioned to inform and underpin the Office of the Children Commissioner’s formal inquiry into group related sexual exploitation.
Missing People and its partner Royal Mail Group were awarded the Business Charity Award for Community Impact (National) in 2015 for the innovative use of Royal Mail's technology and business networks to help find vulnerable missing adults and children.
Missing People partner LexisNexis Risk Solutions won the Institue of Fundraising Partners in Fundraising award for Best Digital/Technology Partner (Charity Facing) in 2015.
Missing People and its partner Outdoor Media Centre won the Cause-Related Marketing award in the Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards 2013.
Missing People was highly commended in the Third Sector Excellence Awards 2013 in the ‘Big Impact’ category, for its Presumption of Death campaign.
Missing People was a finalist in the National Lottery Awards 2013 for our Reaching Families Project
Missing People was a finalist in The Charity Times Awards 2013, in the ‘Charity of the Year’ category.
Helen Alves, our Senior Services Manager won the Marsh Award for Outstanding Achievement in work with Children and Families in 2013.
Missing People was a runner up in The Guardian’s Impact Story Competition in 2013
Missing People won a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award in 2012
Missing People was a Finalist in the Third Sector Excellence Awards 2011 in the ‘Communications Campaign’ category, for its Missing Rights campaign.