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Missing persons


If you know any of your neighbour's friends or family, the first step should be to make a few enquiries with them to see if they know their whereabouts. If no one has seen the person for a few days and no one has a spare key, the police can be contacted to enter the property and check on the welfare of the person.


There is no rule that states you must wait 24 hours to report a missing person. It depends on the person who is missing, their age, mental state and vulnerability.

If the missing person is a child, elderly or a person in vulnerable state, you need to alert the police straight away.

If the person is late home or late for an appointment, then it is sensible to try and contact the person or the last place they were, then wait a reasonable amount of time prior to contacting the police.

For more information please see below and the websites in Related Information.

Missing People is the UK's only charity dedicated to finding missing people, it supports the work of police, Social Services and works in partnership with other agencies.

Missing People - for sightings and to report someone missing:

Runaway Helpline - for young people under 18, to call who are away from home or care:

Message Home - for missing adults, allowing them to pass a message home:


There are several organisations that will be able to help you trace a missing relative. The main one being the Salvation Army who have contacts in over 90 countries.

If the separation is due to some form of conflict (political, natural disaster or armed) then the Red Cross may be  more suitable.

If it is due to children being abducted by an estranged parent, Reunite will be the appropriate organisation.

Perhaps may help if you have enough details about the person.

See links in Related Information for more details.


The Prison Service have a prisoner location service that may be able to assist you. Your details will be passed to the prisoner and if they consent then their whereabouts will be disclosed to you. See the link in related information for more details on how to do this.

Contact your local police force

Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

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