There is no waiting period to report a person missing in B.C., and anyone can make the report.

Please call our non-emergency number at (604) 717-3321 unless you have concerns about the missing person’s immediate safety. This includes children, seniors, anyone with mental or physical challenges, or someone you believe is suicidal.

What can I expect?

We will start an investigation without delay. To assess the urgency of the investigation, and to help locate the missing person, officers will ask questions about their physical description, their physical or mental health or emotional state, and their lifestyle. Finding the missing person safe and well is our primary concern.

The investigation will include a risk assessment, focused on the safety and well-being of the missing person. We work with other agencies when needed.

We will keep you informed, give you information about available support or resources, and assign a VPD contact person to ease communication.

You or the family will be consulted before releasing information or photographs of the missing person to the media. There may be rare exceptions to this, but only if it would affect the investigation or put the missing person at risk.

We will not share the location where a missing adult was found without their permission.

Our files are never closed until a missing person has been located and their identity has been confirmed.

We investigate over 5,000 missing person cases a year — most, if not all, are solved.

What can you do to help an investigation?

Be prepared to answer questions and provide information or items to investigators if they ask, such as a photograph or a personal item belonging to the missing person.

If the missing person contacts you or returns home, or if you find new information that could help with the investigation, please update us as soon as possible.

More information about the missing person investigation process in BC

In B.C., Provincial Policing Standards for Missing Persons Investigations have been in effect since September 2016. The standards and associated Guiding Principles establish the overall approach to missing person investigations for all BC police agencies. The standards recognize the need for officer discretion to address the unique needs of each case, with accountability for decisions through supervisory review.

In June 2015, new provincial legislation came into effect, the Missing Persons Act, which improves police access to information that could help locate a missing person. The Act allows police to apply for court orders to access records or conduct searches, in cases where a criminal offence is not suspected. The Act also allows officers to directly demand access to records in emergency situations.

Contact the VPD Missing Persons Unit

Monday to Friday
6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tel: (604) 717-2530
Fax: (604) 606-2728
Email: vpd.missing@vpd.ca

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