The Police confirm that after 30 mins of searching that they should be contacted.

There are numerous reasons why your child can be late coming home. He/she can be with friends, simply distracted and forgetting that time is passing.

First Steps

Try to keep calm, You will be able to help far better if you have a clear head. Don’t hesitate to phone your neighbours and friends and get them involved. As they are not directly concerned that will have a logical approach.

Places to look


  • Playgrounds
  • hiding places both in and around your home
  • abandoned cars & vans
  • paths in the forest and along rivers and streams
  • remember that young children are unlikely to be far from home
  • verify that the child is not with friends, neighbours, or family
  • Check that clothes or other possessions are not missing. These could indicate a runaway.
  • Check to see if they did not leave a note
  • Make sure that you have your mobile phone with you in case they call (or make sure that the home phone can be answered at all times)
    • BUT do not use your personal number(s) for any call for information / witnesses. The Police are there for that.


When you contact the Police (tel 117) ask for their agreement to request additional help from FREDI to  collaborate with the investigation.

Second Steps

Hopefully you have up to date information for your child, recent photos, details of height and weight etc, F.R.E.D.I has a tool to help you with this – the F.R.E.D.I USB key, keep  this information with your other important documents such as your passport or vaccination book for example

If you believe that your child has been abducted then remember that SPEED is VERY IMPORTANT.

Prepare the following


    • A description of your child
      • what clothes we he/she wearing
      • personal effects (mobile phone etc ( the number?)
      • general description including age, height, build, glasses, jewelery etc.
    • date & time that you last saw him. and with whom if relevant
    • One or two recent photos
    • a list of the places that he/she visits
    • a list of his/her friends and aquaintances
    • Don’t forget to tell the Police all of the little details that only you might know such as his/her close friends and if you have seen anything ‘abnormal’ recently


Third Steps

If you organize your own search with your friends and neignbours


    • Try to work calmly and methodically
    • Take notes as to where you have searched and be thorough
    • Always work with a minimum of two
    • If you find any clues NO NOT TOUCH . call the Police

This page in its original (French) form received the award below.