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Missing persons

Missing person report

If you report a person to the police as missing, in every case they will issue a missing person alert. An official search however is only carried out:

  • in cases involving children and minors,
  • where there is suspicion that a serious crime (felony) has been committed,
  • where there is suspicion that an accident has occurred,
  • where the missing person is a suicide risk or has psychiatric problems,
  • when the missing person requires medication, is ill or is an invalid.

The police officers involved decide whether an official search is carried out.

A missing person report can be filed at any police station or by calling the emergency number 117.

Filing a missing person report

Text message alerts in cases of child abduction

Using a special alert system, the police can search for missing children using radio and TV, motorway display panels and announcements at railway stations and airport. In order to gain a greater public response, the alerts can also be sent out by text message (SMS). Anyone who is interested can register for this service. For further information, see the following website.

Persons missing abroad

If a person goes missing when abroad, you should contact the nearest police station or call the emergency number 117.

International child abduction

Where a child is abducted and taken to a foreign country, the Central Authority in Matters of International Child Abduction at the Federal Office of Justice will help. Working with foreign partner authorities, it will try to secure the return of the child. For further information, see the following website.