Your case will be dealt with exactly the same way whether you report it online or call 101.
What we will do next
We will be in touch as soon as possible to tell you what we are doing.
How quickly we will be in touch depends on lots of things, but we aim to get back to you within two hours (within 12 hours for someone missing abroad, as we may need time to make extra international enquiries).
We will ask any extra questions we need to, and will tell you what will happen next.
Exactly what we will do depends on the level of risk and on the local police force. But for example at the start of an investigation we might:
search the missing person’s home (even if you already have)
search the area they were last seen
check local hospitals
check the missing person’s mobile phones or computers
knock on local doors to see if anyone has any information
look at CCTV footage
carry out specialist searches (for example using helicopters, dogs or divers) if needed
If we do not think the case is a missing person investigation, we will:
tell you why not
help you find the right people to contact instead of the police
If an investigation crosses boundaries between police forces (for example if someone goes missing in one area but is potentially seen in another) police forces will work together.
The force for the place the person is missing from usually has overall responsibility, but this can change if most of the investigation is happening in a different area.
After you’ve reported a missing person, our team will decide if the case is:
We take into account lots of factors including age and health when deciding risk. The risk level will help us decide what to do next. You can ask about and should be told the risk level.
The risk level is not fixed and can be reassessed during the investigation when there is new information or circumstances change.