Unidentified case searchRun advanced search
News and Appeals
All the latest news from the Bureau and our partners:
A Europe-wide database of unidentified bodies should be established, the UK Missing Persons Bureau says. Joe Apps, who heads up the bureau, told BBC News it would help families who were searching for missing loved ones. A year ago, the bureau launched [ Continue reading ]
Wednesday 20th November 2013 marks one year since the launch of the UK Missing Persons Bureau website. The website was the first of its kind in the UK, dedicated to uncovering the mystery behind the unidentified persons found across the country and [ Continue reading ]
To mark a year since the launch of the website, we have created a questionnaire to try and get your views and opinions on how and why you use the website. By gaining a better understanding of your views and opinions, we are better able to develop and [ Continue reading ]
Missing People Carol Service Hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, with moving tributes from families of missing people and uplifting music from the Drummers from the London 2012 Olympics, Rock Choir and The Choral Scholars of St [ Continue reading ]
Have you ever gone missing or know someone who has? Raw TV are currently researching for a Channel 4 documentary on missing and would be very interested to hear from anyone who has a story to share. The Bureau are supporting this work as we hope that [ Continue reading ]
In June we received confirmation of our first resolved case. We were contacted by a member of the public shortly after launch suggesting that they thought one of our cases of an unidentified female found in Essex, could be their aunt. We already had [ Continue reading ]
Every year approximately 250,000 people go missing across the United Kingdom. Whilst most disappearances are resolved relatively quickly, others continue for weeks, months and even years, leaving family members to cope with the pain of not knowing [ Continue reading ]
Where do people go if they are reported as missing? What happens on missing journeys? A new research project run from Glasgow University, in collaboration with Dundee University and Police Scotland, and funded by the Economic and Social Research [ Continue reading ]
The First International Conference on Missing Children and Adults was hosted by the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons at the University of Portsmouth for three days from 18th to 20th June 2013. The theme for the conference was 'Working Across [ Continue reading ]
In July 2012, Ministers made a commitment to improve the protection of children living in children's homes by amending regulations in order to allow Ofsted to share the location of children's homes with the police and other relevant agencies. This [ Continue reading ]
We value your opinion. Please take the time to complete our questionnaire.
- How do I contact the press office?x
How do I contact the press office?
Contact SOCA press office on 0870 268 8100
- How many unidentified persons are found each month?x
How many unidentified persons are found each month?
Each month we record around 15 unidentified body cases and we have about 1000 cases on our database.
- How will the website help the police?x
How will the website help the police?
It provides a further tactical option in the quest to identify people. It will bring the same publicity and appeals for unidentified people as existing sites do for missing people.
- How will the website help families?x
How will the website help families?
It will bring closure to families and friends if an individual is identified. It is hoped it will also empower the families to feel they are playing an active part in searching for their loved ones.
- Has this been done before?x
Has this been done before?
A similar UK website was previously maintained by the charity Missing People. However, due to a reduction in resources, this was removed in 2009.
In addition, British Transport Police (BTP) has already displayed images (forensic artists’ impressions) of 20 railway deaths as part of our Operation Kharon, a joint initiative to obtain details of all outstanding unidentified people/remains. These images have been on BTP’s public facing internet site, as well as receiving significant media coverage of the cases at a press conference in August 2010.
There are currently three similar sites in the USA: The Doe Network, NamUs (US Department of Justice site) and a ColoradoState website. Furthermore, European forces such as the Swiss and Belgian Police already have unidentified people/remains details shown on their websites in order to assist with identifying their cases.
- Why is this site needed?x
Why is this site needed?
Although many unidentified cases receive local or national publicity at the time they are found, this publicity may be short lived, and experience has shown that the families and friends of these people may not see or fail to recognise the significance of this initial publicity. There is therefore a need to continually publicise these unidentified cases in order to maximise the possibility of families/friends who have lost contact with people or who have reported them as missing seeing the details of the case and recognising that the individual may be their missing relative/friend. The website also provides members of the public with a means by which to suggest possible identifications in a clear and simple manner through communication with the Bureau, the details of which can be initially reviewed without additional burden on police forces.
- What cases are included?x
What cases are included?
All unidentified cases, including bodies, remains and alive individuals found in the UK will be eligible for publicising on the website. However, cases within the categories outlined below will generally be excluded from inclusion unless specifically requested by the force/Coroner involved:
- Babies (aged one year and under)
- Murder investigations (or where this is suspected)
- Partial remains where it is deemed there would be little value in publicity (e.g. single bones)
Other cases may also be considered inappropriate for the website, although the intention is to publicise cases on the site unless there is a reason not to.
- What do these statistics mean?x
What do these statistics mean?
The statistics are based only on the cases featured on the website and do not give a full picture of the number of unidentified bodies, remains or alive persons found and identified in that force area. Some forces have chosen not to publicise cases on the website so their results will always show as '0' even though they will have unidentified records in their area. The 'Total closed cases' will only refer to unidentified bodies, remains or alive persons identified since being on the website, meaning that on the date of launch the figures will all be '0', this does not reflect the national picture of identifications made within force. Forces are only required to notifiy us of unidentified bodies, remains or alive persons if they remain outstanding for longer than 48 hours but if identification is made before the case appears on the website then it will not be included in these statistics.
Please see 'What cases are included?' for further details on what cases have been featured.