The Herbert Protocol

A risk reduction tool for people and their families living with dementia.

What is this for? 

This form is designed to make sure that, if someone goes missing, the police can get access to important information about that person as soon as possible. If a relative cannot be found, then this is a deeply distressing and upsetting time for their family and friends. Being asked by a police officer to remember all sorts of information can add to this stress, and these forms are designed to remove some of that worry. 

When should I complete the form?

As soon as possible. The form can be completed at your leisure, with no time pressure or urgency. That said, the sooner it is complete , the quicker the information can be used if it is needed.

How much detail is needed?

The police officer just needs an overview of the required information so don’t worry about too much detail. If you are writing the information by hand, please try to make sure that it is clear and easy to read.

What should I do when I find out that my relative / friend is missing?

You should ring 999 immediately. The sooner the police know that someone is missing, the sooner officers can start looking for them.

What will the police need to know?

When you speak to the police operator, tell them who is missing and that they have dementia. The operator will ask you several questions but this will not delay the police’s response – there are systems in place to allow them to talk to you at the same time that officers are deployed to come and help you find your relative/friend.

Some of the questions that you may be asked are:

• When and where was the person last seen? Be as specific as you can.

• What were they wearing? The operator will ask for a description of the clothes the person was last seen wearing, and anything they might be carrying, such as a bag or walking stick etc.

If you have the information sheet with you, tell the police operator. An officer will come to meet you to collect the form. If you don’t have it with you, don’t worry, the officer may simply ask you more questions. The information will be used to coordinate the search for your loved one. You may be feeling upset and worried for their safety. This is completely natural, and police officers will make sure that you are supported throughout the process.

Download the form here