Reporting a Missing Person | Western Cape Government

Reporting a Missing Person


If someone close to you is missing, you should report it to the police. You don't need to wait 24 hours - you can report it as soon as you know they're missing.

A detective (investigating officer) will investigate the case and the missing person will also be listed on a database, known as the National Bureau for Missing Persons database. This database is a Crime Stop project and police all over the country use it.

This means that police throughout South Africa can be on the lookout for the missing person. Crime Stop often broadcasts missing persons on television so that anybody with information about a missing person can call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

You can contact the Bureau for Missing Persons to report a missing person on:

Tel: 021 918 3512 / 3449 / 3452

Postal Address:
SAPS, Unit Commander, Bureau for Missing Persons
Old SARS Building (next to the Bellville Police Station), AJ West Street, Bellville, 7530

Office Hours:
07:30 - 16:00 (Mon - Fri)


Go to your nearest police station and report that the person is missing as soon as you know they're missing.

Take along a recent photograph of the missing person so that it can be scanned into the database. The police should arrange for the photograph to be scanned at the Crime Stop offices in Bellville so you may have to leave the photograph with the police and get it back later.

Be ready to give any information that might help to identify the person, such as their age, height, hair colour, eye colour, and any identifying marks such as scars or tattoos. You may be asked to fill in forms giving all this information.

A detective will then be put on the case. Make sure that you have the name and contact details of the detective, and keep in contact with them. You should give that detective any new information about the missing person that you get after you have reported the case.

It's a good idea to make sure there's someone who can answer your telephone should the missing person phone you or should the detective phone with news. Make sure that you let the detective know if the missing person returns.

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The content on this page was last updated on 18 February 2020