Missing Persons Bureau website aims to identify bodies

Clothing belonging to man found in the Thames in 1989 Pictures of clothing found are also being put on the website

Related Stories

Pictures of unidentified bodies found across the UK are being put online on a new website that aims to help the authorities track missing people.

The Missing Persons Bureau currently holds records of 1,000 people who have not been identified, some dating back to the 1950s.

Its site will also be used to trace living people, such as those who have suffered memory loss.

Images deemed to be distressing will be marked with a warning.

Members of the public will be able to search cases and provide information online.

As well as the photographs, information under each entry may include an estimate of the age of the person discovered and details of the clothing they were wearing.

Any relevant details supplied by members of the public will given to police forces or the coroner in charge of the case.

Start Quote

It will empower families to play an active part in the search for their loved ones”

End Quote Joe Apps Missing Persons Bureau

The website also includes details of bodies discovered on the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

The Missing Persons Bureau - which was run by the Met Police until 2008 and is currently a division of the Serious Organised Crime Agency - will become part of the new National Crime Agency next year.

Joe Apps, from the bureau, said: "The aim of the new site is to bring closure to the families and friends of the people featured.

"With new unidentified person cases we rely on modern forensic techniques for identification but on older cases we look to use every tool available and believe that case publicity is the best chance of getting images recognised.

"This will be the first time families of missing people have been able to search through records for themselves and it will empower families to play an active part in the search for their loved ones."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    Children see dead bodies both real & animated. Violence is a mainstay of films, TV, newspapers, cartoons & websites. Parents choose to block some sites and no doubt some will, but I'd let my children look at this from about the age of 10 - that's if they had any interest. This is a great idea, given the movement of people globally some of these cases may be solved by people overseas.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    This is a great idea.
    To those who say the site will attract "sickos". I'm sure the sickos have plenty of far worse sites that they visit. And if children become aware that people can die, I'm sure it wouldn't be a totally bad thing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Brilliant idea to hear it. people rely too heavily on DNA, but old cases where there is no comparison samples available, or none could be extracted, or that the bodies now no longer available means ID'ing body's is difficult.
    This gives families some hope that many years later they might find them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    The police should keep a eye on who visits this site in case it is either a missing person or a serial killer. There must be a straightforward algorithm of some sort that could flag suspicious visitors viewing linked cases?

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    It's a stupid idea, it'll be a sicko voyeur heaven.
    Why do families need to be empowered to play an active part in the search for their loved ones anyway? I would have thought if they were not actually involved (oops) they'd be interested already! Probably be trawled by the murderers looking to reminiss, worth the police monitoring users!

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    I'm not sure what is wrong with kids seeing dead bodies? It's a natural part of life and we should be less afraid of sharing that with children. I presume the website will take care in what they show.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    It's a good idea however what happens if a kid looks at that website? The last thing we want kids to see is dead bodies.

    Parents should prevent their children from accessing this website.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    A great idea. I hope this will bring closure for the families and friends. At the same time, in an age of ID, DNA and biometrics it is saddening that so many people still remain unidentified. I can't think of a sadder end than to die unknown to be put on a website in the hope that someone can still hold a crucial fragment of information to give them their name back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Hopefully it will bring some sort of closure if not comfort to many families of "missing loved ones" I cannot even begin to imagine being in their position.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    It is astounding when you look at the records of serial killers, Nilsen, Gacy, Dahmer, Bundy etc, most of their victims were not recorded as missing. Obvoiusly with a percentage of the population being transitory this will caused indentification problems.

    It would be easier in many cases, to find, if your dog went missing

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    So what's the problem, yes there will be the perverts, can't be helped. What is important here is that something positive is being done to combat the problems faced not only by the authorities but by the families and loved ones left behind as well. Closure is so much an important factor in the grieving process. Bring it on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Many will be illegals, people shipped in and unknown by anyone in the UK.
    @Sheeple - Your username says it all..... Stop reading the Dailyfail and all the anti-western propaganda. If you'd seen what's really going on in the middle east, all the horrendous video's that get censored from UK internet users, video's of what extremists are doing to their own people, you'd soon change your tune.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Missing persons another victim of government cuts? The government would rather spend billions on illegal wars and creating corpses rather than identifying or preventing corpses.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    In theory it is a good idea for people who have lost loved ones, but i'd be afraid this will bring out the 'morbids'. I think we should be very wary of it. It could easily 'feed' depravity in some sick minds and maybe drive them on in their quest of evil. I just wonder how it will be 'policed'

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    A good idea if it brings an end to the forlorn hope and misery that the relatives are caught up in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.


    I hear what you are saying, but wonder if it is better for loved ones left behind to know what happened, however grim, than be left wondering about all the possibilities, including those worse than what they find?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Grim, but it has to be done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    This can only help those hunting for loved ones but I would hate to be one of those who comes across a son or daughter, husband or wife dead like this.


Page 5 of 5


More UK stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.