Reporting a Missing Person | Western Cape Government


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Reporting a Missing Person


man searches the internet for missing children. News of lost persons 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 TV so that anyone 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
Email: /

The following organisations can also assist you with the search for your missing child.

Missing Children South Africa
: 072 MISSING (072 647 7464)
Fax: 086 580 3310

South African Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
Tel: 012 393 2002
Fax: 086 777 9420

The Pink Ladies Organisation for Missing Children
24 Hour SMS : 072 214 7439 
Email: / 

Please note: the 24-hour number is to be used only in the following situations:

  • Reporting a missing child/adult.
  • Relaying information regarding a missing child/adult.

No other enquiries will be responded to on this number.

  • Try not to panic.
  • Don't wait 24 hours to report your missing child.
  • Do a quick search to check whether your child is really missing. Contact their friends, school, neighbours, etc.
  • Get a responsible person to stay at your house while you’re at the police station or searching for your child. This person can take messages if someone calls about the child’s disappearance or if the child returns home.
  • 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. Make sure that the photograph is of good quality so that your child will be easily identifiable.
  • 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’ll have to complete a SAPS 55 (A) form which safeguards the police against false or hoax reports. This form also gives the Police permission to distribute the photo and information of the missing child.
  • 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.
  • Remember that if your child returns home, you’ll have to go to the Police station to report that the child is safe.
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The content on this page was last updated on 15 December 2020