“When we left the FBI and worked for families and defendants. We came to see things from the other side and we recognised that not all official investigations are complete or accurate.”
John Douglas, Cold Case Foundation, Former FBI Behavioural Science Unit.

At the Centre for Missing People Investigation specialist volunteers  work side-by-side with experienced investigators to advance the quality of investigations. Collaborating with universities and the police service we are able to access a wide range of specialist resources and apply them to helping improve the quality of missing people investigations..

We are passionate about a team based approach that combines a range of specialists with intelligence and investigative expertise with disciplines like computer science and data analytics. We bring these people together and apply their collective intelligence to the problem of missing people.

The police service face a significant challenge to manage missing people investigations effectively. The capacity and capability of services is shrunk over many years and will take time to be restored. There has been a sharp fall in development and retention of detectives. The cost of an average missing person investigation is £2415 which would mean the annual cost is equivalent to 19,188 police constables working full time or 14 per cent of the total number of full time police officers in the UK.  The cost of policing missing people in the top ten demand locations in one UK force was estimated to be between £482,250 to £879,060 in one year.

Our aims align with the Missing People UK response to the Policing in the 21st Century White Paper in 2010. They called for a bold vision for tackling missing people that was responsive and accountable to local communities. An approach that draws on the energy, creativity and active participation of individuals in their own communities, particularly through the development of specialist resources. 

We look for the best global examples that advance missing people investigation and work collaboratively to apply them in the UK . The US National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children launched TEAM ADAM, which is a rapid response program made up of former and retired law enforcement professionals who use their years of specialist experience to help find missing children.  Trace Labs is a specialist open source intelligence organisation in Canada that utilises trained open source volunteers to assist in tracing missing people

We have expanded the Team Adam concept to a wider group of specialists and to missing people of all ages. We have combined this approach with an  open source intelligence capability to help find missing people. We then work in partnership with the police service, universities and communities to advance missing people investigations. This maybe specialist vetted volunteers working in each police force directly supporting day to day operations. Or long term work tackling specific national or international problems, like the estimated 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children who have disappeared after arriving in Europe (Europol).

The universities of South Wales and Central Lancashire will host the first Centres for Missing People Investigation to pursue these aims. We will be establishing a further eight locations by the end of 2020.

Working with Devon and Cornwall Police we will be developing a specialist volunteer missing people investigation role. Once established and evaluated we will be expanding this project across the UK during 2020.

Get in touch and let’s see what we can do together.

Case Review

Our missing people investigation clinics (MPIC) are a free independent review and advocacy service for the families of missing people. We bring specialist teams together from a variety of investigative backgrounds to review unsolved missing people cases at no cost to families.


We have a network of leading specilists in unsolved murder and missing people investigations. Our teams include former detectives and intelligence specialists working to develop innovative techniques or applying new solutions to advance missing people investigations. 


Communities are the greatest resources in advancing missing people investigations. Working directly with communities to develop a model of sharing information together to advance unsolved and missing people cases. We work with people who understand their communties.


We seek to find and develop talent in field of missing people investigation. We work together with the universities of South Wales and Central Lancashire, where teams take on real world challenges working side by side with specialists on unsolved missing people cases.