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Call handlers

Authorised Professional Practice

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This page is from APP, the official source of professional practice for policing.

First published
Written by College of Policing
Missing persons quick reference guides
3 mins read

It is important for the call handler to gather as much information as possible as this will inform the risk assessment and direct any subsequent investigation. The call handler should obtain relevant details relating to the missing person and the circumstances of the disappearance (see gathering information).

Relevant questions may include:

  • Why are you worried about the missing person?
  • What has been done so far to trace this individual?
  • Is this out of character?
  • Have they been missing before? If yes, what happened whilst they were missing?
  • Are there any specific medical needs?
  • Are they likely to become the victim of crime?
  • Are they likely to be hurt or harmed?
  • Are they currently at risk of sexual exploitation?
  • Are they likely to self-harm or attempt suicide?
  • Do they pose a danger to other people?
  • Are they likely to have travelled abroad?
  • Is there any other information relevant to their absence?
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