When is a person a missing person?
A person is considered missing when:
a) they are reported to police and their whereabouts are unknown; and
b) there are fears for the safety or concerns for the welfare of that person, including any person in an institution (not including a prison or gaol).
When can a person be reported as missing?
A person can be reported as missing at any time - there is no time limit or period to wait. If the person fits the definition of a missing person, you should report the matter to police. Persons who are vulnerable due to health, age or impairments, should be reported missing without delay.
Missing person investigations are managed by local police and escalated to the local criminal investigation unit, or the Homicide Squad, depending on their level of risk or the suspicious circumstances of their disappearance.
If, after making initial inquiries yourself, you wish to report someone as a missing person, you should go to a police station. Where possible, this should be nearest to where the person lives or was last seen. Missing persons reports cannot be taken over the phone.
What information should be provided to police?
Victoria Police gathers the following information to assist in its processing of missing persons reports:
- Personal details of the missing person, including their name and any aliases they may use, address, age, date of birth and place of birth.
- A recent photograph of the person and full description, including any scars, tattoos, birthmarks and jewellery usually worn by the person.
- A list of the clothing and footwear the person was last seen wearing.
- Any vehicle details or usual transport details.
- Banking, credit cards or other financial accounts used by the person.
- A list of places frequented by the person, including any possible destinations.
- A list of the missing person's friends, relatives, work colleagues and fellow students, including their addresses and telephone numbers.
- Contact details for doctors and dentists used by the person.
- Details of any medical conditions suffered by the person, including any medications required and what they treat.
- Any other information that may assist police in their investigation.
If you know where a person who has been reported missing is, or you have any information about a missing person, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
In order to report a person as missing, attend at your local police station.