The police are searching my area for someone who is missing, what can I do to help?
When you hear of the case of a missing person in your area many people will want to help with the search, particularly where young children are involved.
What you should do:
- if you think that you have seen the missing person contact the police by telephone on 101
- help officers by searching your own property and grounds, check all outbuildings and gardens
- tell your friends, family and neighbours so that they can check their properties too
- don't assume that just because a door seems locked that someone is not inside, they might have entered and locked the door behind them
- listen to the local radio or look for updates on our social media feeds about how the search is progressing, we will release details of things that you can do to help using them
- share details on social media so that our message gets to the widest audience
- keep an open mind, rumours will circulate about the circumstances of the case and who might be involved, often these are untrue and can divert attention from the search the missing person.
What you shouldn't do:
- don't turn up at the police station or in the area asking to get involved in the search, if the police need public help we will let you know where and when to meet, by coming to the area you might be actually impeding the search or obscuring the missing persons trail
- if, when asked, you want to get involved in a search please make sure you are suitably clothed for the weather conditions and have recently eaten - the police cannot feed or clothe you - make sure you have good solid footwear or boots, do not bring young children or people with mobility problems along with you
- do not confront someone who you think is with a missing person; you might have made an innocent mistake and got the wrong person or might scare someone who is missing to running away before we can reach you.