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Missing Persons

Missing Persons Unit

The Vancouver Police Department's Missing Persons Unit handles over 5,000 cases per year, and most, if not all, are solved.

There is no waiting period to report someone missing in B.C., and anyone can make the report. If you are concerned with someone’s immediate safety, call 9-1-1. In less urgent situations, contact the police agency where you think the person was last seen.

Finding the missing person safe and well is our primary concern. To help locate them, and to assess the urgency of the investigation, officers will ask questions about the missing person, such as their physical description, their physical or mental health or emotional state, and their lifestyle.

The VPD will:

  • take your report seriously, start an investigation without delay, and ask questions to ensure we have the information they need

  • conduct a thorough investigation, including a risk assessment, focused on the safety and wellbeing of the missing person

  • keep you informed, offer information about supports or resources that may be available, and designate a contact person within the police force 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 wellbeing (to balance respect for privacy with police duty to investigate safety concerns, this may be handled differently in some circumstances)

  • not close a file until the missing person has been located and their identity has been verified

  • not share information about the location of a found missing adult without their permission

  • where appropriate, work with other agencies to promote a found missing person’s ongoing safety and limit recurring reports involving the same locations or individuals, or similar missing person profiles

What can you do to help an investigation?

Be prepared to answer questions and provide information or items to police as requested, such as a photograph or a personal item belonging to the missing person.

Update the police as soon as possible if the missing person contacts you or returns home, or if you obtain new information that could assist the investigation.

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.

Coroner's Liaison

The Coroner's Liaison works with both the VPD and the B.C. Coroners Service in investigations involve a death. The Liaison assists in identifying victims and locating next-of-kin, deals with any property that has been seized, and ensures that necessary follow-up investigations and reports are done.


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Contact the VPD Missing Persons Unit

Comments or questions, or have information on a missing individual? Contact the Missing Persons Unit Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:

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

Reporting Someone Missing?

If you are reporting someone missing, please call our non-emergency number at (604) 717-3321.

Please call 9-1-1 of you have concerns about any missing person's immediate safety, such as:

  • children
  • seniors
  • anyone with mental or physical challenges
  • someone you believe is suicidal

There is no waiting period in B.C. and anyone can make the report.

Finding the missing person safe and well is the primary concern. To help locate them, officers may ask about their phsyical description, their mental state, and their lifestyle.

Missing Persons Database

VPD Missing Persons Database

Take a look at our database of missing persons and see if you recognize anyone.

Related Links

Child Find BC

Missing Kids

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