Missing people | Suffolk Constabulary

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Missing people

To report a missing person call 101. If it is an emergency and you feel that the missing person may be at risk of immediate harm, dial 999.

There is no time limit on when you can report a missing person – you don’t have to wait 24 hours.

The Missing Persons Advice Leaflet provides advice and guidance for those who report missing people, what you can expect in terms of service from the police and our expectations of the help and contact we need from you too.  Included is a section with information on a number of national support agencies.

Before you report someone as missing:

  • Search their home or the place the person was last seen, in case they are hiding or may have fallen and been injured - remember that children can hide in very small spaces.
  • Look out for any notes or clues that may suggest where they may be.
  • Check to see if they have left you a message on your phone, voicemail or online.
  • Contact family members, friends and the person’s place of work to verify that they are actually missing and not simply somewhere unexpected.

What we need from you:

When you report someone as a missing person we will:

  • ask you for full details of the missing person, including description and circumstances of their disappearance
  • ask you what you have done to try and locate the missing person
  • ask questions to assess whether the person is at low, medium or high risk (see below)
  • begin enquiries straight away where a person is considered at high or medium risk
  • ask for your consent to use publicity
  • keep you informed of the progress of the enquiry
  • speak to the missing person when found to try to reduce the chances of them going missing again.

Risk levels:

When a person is reported missing we will assess whether the person is at low, medium or high risk:

  • Low Risk suggests there is no apparent threat of danger to either the missing person or the public.
  • Medium Risk means it is possible that the missing person is in danger or is a threat to him/herself or others.
  • High Risk means we believe there is a real and immediate danger to the safety of the missing person or to the public.

How we assess the level of risk:

We will assess the level of risk by building up as accurate a picture of the person and their personal circumstances as possible. To do this we will take in to account such things as:

  • the person’s age
  • whether they need essential medication or treatment
  • whether they are on the Child Protection Register.

We will also consider the circumstances of the disappearance, such as whether:

  • the disappearance is out of character
  • there is a suspicion of murder
  • the missing person has financial, employment or relationship problems.