Non-Emergency 604-525-5411

Emergency 9-1-1

Missing persons investigations

MISSING PERSONS INVESTIGATIONS

General Information:

  • Missing persons investigations are taken very seriously by the NWPD.
  • Anyone can report a missing person to the police.
  • There is no waiting period to report a missing person to the police.
  • A police file will be created to document the missing persons complaint.
  • A police officer will be assigned to investigate the missing persons complaint immediately.

How to report a missing person:

  • Call the NWPD Non-Emergency line 604-525-5411.
  • If there is a concern with someone’s immediate safety, call 9-1-1.
  • Attend the NWPD front counter and report in person.

The NWPD investigator will:

  • ask questions to ensure we have the information they need.
  • conduct a thorough investigation, including a risk assessment, focused on the safety and well-being of the missing person.
  • keep you informed, offer information about supports or resources that may be available, and designate a contact person within the NWPD to ease communication.
  • consult with the family or reportee before releasing information or photographs of the missing person to the media — unless to do so would jeopardize the missing person or the investigation.
  • when a missing person has been found, go to the location in person to confirm their identity and well-being (or have this conducted by an approved person to respect privacy concerns).
  • not close a file until the missing person has been located, their identity has been verified and their well-being has been assessed.
  • not share information about the location of a found missing adult without their permission.

What you can do to assist when reporting a missing person:

  • Be prepared to answer questions, such as,
    • Physical description of the missing person.
    • When and where the missing person was last seen.
    • The missing person’s emotional state, mental health state, lifestyle.
  • Be prepared to provide information to the police.
  • Be prepared to provide items to the police (for example: photograph and/or personal item of the missing person).
  • Update the police as soon as possible if the missing person contacts you or returns home.
  • Update the police with any new information you receive that could assist in the investigation.

Support:

  • Anyone reporting a missing person or anyone impacted by the missing persons investigation are able to access the services of the NWPD Victim Assistance Unit at 604-529-2525.
  • The NWPD Victim Assistance Unit is able to refer anyone to additional resources if required.

More information about missing person investigations in BC: