When a family member or friend goes missing, it is an extremely worrying time. Reporting the absence at the earliest opportunity will help to trace that person as soon as possible.
What do I do now?
If you are concerned that a missing person is at risk of harm because they are vulnerable or a victim of a serious crime, call 999.
In a non-emergency, ring 101. It's important that you give the call-taker as much information as you can about that person, in terms of both physical appearance and the circumstances leading up to his or her disappearance.
A detailed description is essential and a recent photograph will ensure that officers are fully briefed on who they are looking for.
You will be asked a lot of questions and may wonder why they are relevant. But knowing, for example, that a person needs medication or has rushed away upset after an argument can help to speed up an investigation.
What happens next?
An officer in uniform will come to your home or to the place the person is missing from and ask more questions to help build up a picture of the situation. A search may be made of the property for any information about friends, favourite places, phone numbers or diary entries to aid the inquiry.
The officer will leave you contact details and a reference number and active investigations will begin as soon as the information is returned to the officer in charge.
You will also receive instructions as to what to do and who to call if the missing person returns.