The Herbert Protocol – Missing Persons

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme which has been adopted by Hampshire Police. The scheme encourages carers, family and friends to provide and put together useful information, which can then be used in the event of an adult at risk going missing such as adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s, using the form available below. Carers and / or relatives and friends can complete a form in advance, which includes detailing important information , such as:

  • medication required
  • mobile numbers
  • places previously located
  • a recent photograph

The Herbert Protocol Form

Use your professional opinion as a carer or your knowledge as a family member to decide whether a person is at risk of going missing.

Who completes the form?

  • In a care setting, the care provider, the person at risk or their family can fill in the form.
  • Please seek permission from the person at risk or their next of kin. If neither is possible, the care provider should make a ‘best interests’ assessment.
  • Update the form regularly to make sure the information is always accurate.
  • Filling in the form can be a valuable way of communicating with a relative because it causes them to think about where they used to live and work. This triggers memories that they like to talk about, and can enrich your visit.

When should the form be given to the police?

  • The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing.
  • There is no need to hand it to police before then and the form will be returned once the person is found.

What happens if the adult at risk goes missing?

  • If you discover a person is missing, conduct a brief ‘open door’ search of the address, grounds and outbuildings, to see if you can find them.
  • If they’re still missing, call 999 immediately. Don’t worry – you won’t be criticised for calling the police if you are worried about a person’s safety. The sooner the police know someone is missing, the sooner officers can start looking for them.
  • When you ring the police, tell them you have the Herbert Protocol profile available.
  • If you have an electronic version of the form you can e-mail it to the Force Control Room so that the information can be shared to the searching officers. If you have a paper copy, have it ready for the attending officer when they arrive.

The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a War veteran of the Normandy landings, who had dementia and sadly died while he was ‘missing’ on his way to his childhood home