In Australia, anyone can be reported missing to police if their whereabouts are unknown, and there are serious concerns for their safety and welfare. Police will investigate and attempt to locate the missing person. So, what to do if someone you know goes missing?
1. You don’t 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 is unknown, then you may immediately report them missing to local police by making a missing persons report.
2. A missing persons report can be filed at any local police station
Reports over the phone are only accepted in South Australia. Contact your local police station to discuss your needs if you are unable to attend the police station to lodge a report.
3. Give the police as much relevant information as you can
It will help the police if you can provide detailed description of the person, name and contact details of friends, Centrelink benefits they may have been receiving, passport details, medical requirements, and any other factors that give you concern for their current well-being.
4. When making a missing persons report, the police may take full details straight away
The police may carry out initial enquiries and come back to you for more detailed information if the person is not located within a short period of time.
5. Keep a record of the report
It may be helpful to record the following information - event number for the investigation, police station and rank and name of Police Officer in Charge.
Fact sheets are available in 14 different languages. For more information visit Australia’s official website for missing persons.
Freecall 1800 000 634.
If you need an interpreter contact TIS National Services on 13 14 50.
The Australian Missing Persons Register website is free and it aims to provide information about missing persons from every state and territory in Australia.
More information is available in Missing people: A guide for families and friends of missing people.