Police Services and Local Authorities

Family Guidance

If you feel it is appropriate, please direct families of missing people to our family guidance pages, which offer advice and information about what to do when a family member goes missing. 

The charity Missing People has 25 years’ frontline experience and provides a range of services for police handling missing person investigations and local authorities, including taking referrals for family support, making Publicity Appeals and sending supportive text messages to missing children and adults (TextSafe®).

We can tailor-make a publicity appeal for a missing person, providing targeted local or national publicity which reaches out to the public for information and to the missing person to get in touch.

Our publicity should reach two key ‘audiences’: the public, who may know something about the missing person or their whereabouts; and the missing person, who may see it and get in touch with someone as a result.

Our publicity has a very wide reach. We have 1000s of poster partners across the UK, appeal slots in weekly and monthly publications, including the Daily Mirror, the Big Issue and the Daily Record. Our partnership with Outsmart allows us to publish appeals on digital billboards in targeted geographical regions. We can also put appeals on our website, Facebook and Twitter. 

To request publicity please click on the big button below and complete our referral form.  You can also request family support and a textsafe message though this form. 

If you do not require our assistance with publicity, but would like to refer someone to our Family Support service, you can do so easily via email or telephone. Please contact our helpline on 0203 404 7247 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Request a Publicity Appeal

There are times when police tell us that they feel publicity isn’t appropriate for a missing person investigation, in these cases you could consider the use of the Support Partner Network.

The Support Partner Network is made up of projects that work with adults or children and perform a safeguarding role or aim to increase their wellbeing. These projects have signed a briefing agreement to say that they will only share the briefings they receive around their staff and volunteers and that briefings will not be displayed in public places.

To find out more or to speak to our helpline, contact us on 116 000 or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like a more detailed police guide to publicity please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that as of November 1st 2017 all requests for publicity from police must come through the online publicity request form.

As  busy police officers it's great to have the charity Missing People on our side, particularly with publicity and the publication /distribution of posters.


They are able to reach out very quickly both locally and nationally and this has allowed us to focus on our core role of investigation.


Actively referring families to them for support has also greatly helped in reducing pressure for us as they invest heavily in taking time to answer the many questions that they rightly have.


I can't speak highly enough about the support that we have had over many years from Missing People and I would recommend all forces to make full use of their free services.

Police Chief Constable

Detective Inspector Phil Shakesheff, West Mercia Police


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