VicPol Corporate

Missing persons frequently asked questions

  • Any person, whether an adult or child, reported to police whose whereabouts is unknown and there are genuine fears and concerns for the wellbeing and safety of that person.

  • You do not have to wait 24 hours to report someone as missing. If you have serious concerns for the safety and welfare of a person, and their whereabouts are unknown, then you can report them missing to your local police immediately.

  • Police are unable to take a missing persons report by telephone. There is a need to verify that the person filing the report is a legitimate family member or spokesperson for the family, and therefore, the report must be taken in person at a police station.

  • Unless the person is believed to have returned to their home town area, the report should be filed where the person was last seen or heard from.

  • No. Any person can report a person missing to police if there are genuine fears for their safety and wellbeing. Other than a relative, it is also fine for a friend, neighbour, colleague or employer to make the report.

  • Contact police at your first available opportunity via calling '000' or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 (free call within Australia). Any information received will be treated in confidence.

  • If you are reported missing, it is vital that police are informed of your whereabouts, safety and welfare. If you are over the age of 17 years, police can keep your whereabouts confidential, however, the person reporting you missing will be advised that you are safe and well. If you are under 17 years of age, your whereabouts will not be disclosed if it will endanger you. Police priority is to ensure your safety and wellbeing before the release of any information.

  • Genuine fears for a person's safety must exist before Victoria Police or police in Australia will commence a search. If the only fears for safety are the fact the family has lost contact with the person, then this is not sufficient.

    If you want to report a person missing in Australia, from a location outside Australia, you should report the person missing to local police in your country. A request for investigation will be sent to police in Australia via Interpol channels. Or alternatively, you can make a report through your embassy or consular office in Australia.

    Victoria Police do not accept missing persons reports from overseas by email, phone or post. We only accept missing persons reports through the channels mentioned above, in order to verify who you are and that the reasons for the report are genuine.

Reviewed 15 June 2021

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