Reporting someone missing

A disappearance should be reported immediately if the person is felt to be at risk or unsafe.

If you think that someone you know is missing, the police should be your first point of contact. You can contact them on 101 or visit your local police station. 

If the missing person is a child, or you think that they are at serious risk of harm, call 999. 

If speaking to the police might be difficult for you, or if you're not sure whether someone is missing or at risk, we can help.

You can call us for free, 24/7 and in confidence on 116 000.


Call, text or email 116 000

Missing People's helpline is free, and availble 24/7. If a friend or relative has gone missing and you need support and advice call or text 116 000 or email

Confidentiality policy

Missing People is a confidential service and we cannot trace your calls. Please see our Confidentiality Policy.


We recognise that many people are affected when someone goes missing, and we support both the families and friends of missing people. Where the word ‘family’ is used on this website or at any time to describe the charity’s services, this also includes friends and loved ones.


If you’re worried about the safety of a missing person, we would encourage you to contact the police as a first point of call. However, you may get in touch with us at any point for help, support or advice.

When you contact our 116 000 helpline, your call, text or email will be answered by a friendly, caring and non-judgmental member of the team.

We will:

  • Listen and understand your unique situation and any worries or feelings you may be having
  • Ask a few questions about the person who is missing
  • Ask whether or not you have contacted the police
  • Explain your options and help you work out what you need to do next

If your missing loved one has not yet been reported to the police, we will:

  • Talk you through the next steps of reporting your loved one as missing
  • Advise on how to speak to the police and explain what questions may be asked
  • Help you to gather information needed, put together a timeline and ensure that you are able to explain the situation to the police. This may be helpful if there are complicated circumstances surrounding your loved one going missing.

If your missing loved one has already been reported to the police, we will:

  • Talk you through the different services we can provide at this stage
  • Offer help with publicity
  • If publicity is wanted/needed, we will take further details about your missing loved one and then contact the police to confirm
  • Offer support, which will then continue depending on your own personal needs
  • Keep you up to date via phone, text or email

If you have attempted to report somebody missing but the police do not agree that there is sufficient risk or concern to launch a search, we can talk through the situation with you and contact the police on your behalf.

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