What are cookies?

Our website uses cookies, as almost all websites do.  Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer or mobile phone when you browse websites.  A typical cookie contains the name of the server the cookie came from, a unique identifier and the cookie’s lifetime.   Only the web-site that puts the cookie on your PC can use it.

The cookies we use

Cookies have various purposes.  The cookies our web-site puts onto your computer are listed in the following table:

Cookie Name

What it does

These are common cookies provided by Google Analytics to allow us to monitor how the site is used and thereby help improve the efficiency of the site and the user experience.

We use these cookies to compile visitor statistics such as how many people have visited our website, what type of technology they are using (e.g. Mac or Windows, Internet Explorer or Firefox), how long they spend on the site, what page they look at etc. This helps us to continuously improve our website. These so called analytics programs also tell us, on an anonymous basis, how people reached this site (e.g. from a search engine) and whether they have been here before.

PHPSESSIDUsed by the PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) to help PHP keep track of the sessions by storing an identifier locally.  As the PHPSESSID cookie has no timed expiry, it disappears when the client is closed
pidTwitter – used by Twitter so you can like or share our pages.


Our web-site does not use cookies to:

  • Collect any personally identifiable information;
  • Collect any sensitive information;
  • Pass data to advertising networks;
  • Pass personally identifiable data to third parties.

This means that, even if we are asked to pass on information when required by law or by a regulatory body (e.g. by a law enforcement agency), our data will be of very little use.  We may provide third parties with summarized data about visitors and users to our site.

Third party cookies

Our web-site includes buttons which are created by third parties, e.g. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and also includes links to other web-sites, e.g. event management companies.  If you use a button or follow a link to another web-site, then cookies will probably be loaded onto your PC by the companies responsible for the buttons or web-site.  We have no control over such cookies.  As some of these services are based outside the UK and the European Union, they may fall outside the jurisdiction of EU and UK laws. If you are concerned about this, you can visit the Information Commissioner’s website for more information, or change the cookies settings on your browser (see below).

Granting us permission to use cookies

If the settings on the software you are using to view this website (your browser) are adjusted to accept cookies we take this, and your continued use of our website, to mean that you are happy to allow us to put these cookies on your PC.  Should you wish to remove our cookies from your PC or not use them you can learn how to do this below.  However, doing so may mean that our site will not work as you would expect.

Turning cookies off

You can usually switch cookies off by adjusting your browser settings to stop it from accepting cookies.  However, doing so will probably limit the functionality of a most websites you use as cookies are a standard part of most modern websites.

To switch off cookies in Internet Explorer, click on Tools, click on Settings, click on the Privacy tab and then use the slider bar to choose the level of privacy you want.  In Firefox, click on Tools, click on Options, click on Privacy, click on the Cookies tab and choose your level of privacy.  For other browsers, visit

It may be that you concerns around cookies relate to so called “spyware”. Rather than switching off cookies in your browser you may find that anti-spyware software achieves the same objective by automatically deleting cookies considered to be invasive. Learn more about managing cookies with antispyware software.

The cookie information text on this site was derived from content provided by Attacat Internet Marketing, a marketing agency based in Edinburgh. If you need similar information for your own website you can use their free cookie audit tool.

Updates to this statement

From time to time we may update this statement without warning.  Please take a look at it regularly.

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.