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Runaway Helpline is operated by the charity Missing People. Missing People takes your privacy very seriously and is committed to protecting any personal information we might hold about you. This Privacy Policy tells you what we do with any personal information you provide to us.

Under the law, Missing People needs to tell you certain things about how we use your data. First of all, Missing People is the “data controller” which means we are responsible for how your data is used. Missing People is a lifeline when someone goes missing or is thinking of running away, and we may need to store what you tell us on our computer system. We will only use the information you give us to help us provide the services you ask for and to keep you safe. We have a data protection officer who is responsible for ensuring that the charity protects your data and abides by data protection law. He can be contacted through and will provide more information about our policies if required.

We keep your records for different periods of time according to your situation. If you choose to identify yourself and we work with you after your first chat then we will retain your records for 6 years after the last contact. If you do not identify yourself then we will delete your record 2 years after the last contact. These periods apply whatever the means of communication, i.e. phone, 1-2-1 web-chat, email, or text. If you want to see your data or want us to delete it please contact us on

For the purposes of training and monitoring of service quality, phone calls to our services may be listened in to by additional members of staff or volunteers. All of the charity’s staff and volunteers are bound by our confidentiality policy. Phone calls, 1-2-1 web chats and texts cannot be traced by Missing People to their source device, and phone calls are not recorded.

If you have any concerns about the data we hold about you and what we do with it you can e-mail us at and we will respond quickly, that is, within the period required by law. We respect your rights under data protection law, namely, rights to data access, to rectification, to request erasure, to restrict processing, to object, to be forgotten and to withdraw consent, and will implement them subject to any conflict with the rights of others.  You also have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office if you are unhappy with the response you receive from Missing People.

We use live chat software on our website. This is provided by Click4Assistance, a 3rd party UK based software company. Information regarding how the data is processed and stored can be viewed here.

Statistical data

We collect data about our work which is then used to calculate statistics. For example, we record how many of our calls come from girls and from boys. It’s important we do this so that we can develop and improve our services and also show the people who fund our work how we use their donations. We use the reports to help fundraise to pay for our work, and to campaign to improve the situation for young people who may need to use Runaway Helpline.

We will always anonymise this data so that you and your devices cannot be identified. Anonymised data for research might also be shared with others, e.g. external researchers.

Feedback and Complaints

Got a comment, praise or complaint regarding Missing People’s services? Please click here for details of our feedback and complaints policy.

If you are concerned with the way we have protected your data and don’t think we have responded to your concerns well enough then you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Terms of Use

Use of this site is provided by Runaway Helpline on behalf of Missing People and is subject to the following terms and conditions. Missing People reserves the right to change the Terms of Use at any time by posting changes online.

1. Use of site

This site contains information for personal use only, and must not be reproduced on any other website or for commercial gain.

This website is for information only and should not be considered as a substitute for seeking appropriate advice. So far as permissible by law, Missing People, the charity that operates Runaway Helpline, does not accept liability to any person relating to the use of any information on this website.

2. Links

Missing People must approve links to the site prior to their creation. Please use the address below.

3. Copyright and Trade Marks

Missing People or its content suppliers own the intellectual property rights of any material used on the site including text, video, photographs and pictures. Unauthorised use including reproduction, storage, modification, distribution or publication without prior consent is prohibited.

The names, logos and all related design marks, slogans, product and service names are the trade names, trade marks or service marks of Missing People and Runaway Helpline must not be used without consent.

If you have any queries or complaints about these Terms and Conditions please email Missing People at or write to Missing People PO Box 28908, London, SW14 7ZU.

4. Moderation

Missing People has a strict policy to not respond to and to immediately remove any postings on its social media platforms, blog and website, that:

  • contains any material which is defamatory
  • contains any material which is obscene or offensive
  • infringes any copyright, database rights, trade mark or other intellectual property right or other right of any other person be likely to deceive any person
  • contains any material which constitutes or encourages conduct that could be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise be contrary to the law
  • is made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party such as a contractual duty or obligation of confidentiality
  • is likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person
  • is likely to disrupt our service in any way
  • gives the impression it emanates from us where this is not the case
  • advocates, promote or assist any unlawful act, for example copyright, trade mark infringement, or computer misuse
  • puts a missing person at greater risk
  • signposts vulnerable people to information we do not deem suitable or reliable.

5. Images

All photographic images on this website have been posed by models to depict fictional situations.

It looks like you’re accessing this website from outside the United Kingdom.

The Runaway Helpline can only provide services to children and young people within the United Kingdom, and information and advice on this site relates to the UK only.

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