If you have left home or run away from where you’re living without telling anyone where you are going, it’s possible that someone may have reported you missing to the police. This can feel quite scary, but it doesn’t mean you are in trouble as going missing or running away is not a crime. Someone reporting you missing might mean that they’re worried about you and have asked the police to look for you, to make sure you are safe.
Even if you don’t consider yourself missing, once you’ve been reported missing the police will need to see you and speak to you to make sure you are safe and well before they can take you off their list of missing people. Until they are sure that you are safe, they will keep looking for you so it’s important that you contact them if you would like them to stop – you can reach them on 101 to arrange meeting, or visit a local police station yourself if it’s easier. They may want to ask you some questions about where you’ve been, and may want to take you to a place of safety.
If you’ve run away because it’s not safe for you to be where you normally live, then it’s important to make sure that the police know and understand that. You may be really scared that if you’re found they’ll make you go back to somewhere dangerous, but you deserve to be safe and not live in fear. If you are under 18 they’ll need to talk to social services to make sure there’s somewhere safe for you to stay instead of taking you back. This is because social services have a duty to make sure you have somewhere safe to live. It’s your right to be safe.
If you’re not sure whether you’ve been reported missing, or you want to talk through what may happen if you try to return, Runaway Helpline are here to listen and support you. You can reach for free, via text or phone on 116 000. We will listen to you and we never judge. We can also help you with practical support like help talking to the police or speaking with a parent or carer.