The Herbert Protocol was developed by Norfolk Constabulary in partnership with other agencies in 2011. It encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing. The protocol is now a national scheme used by many other police forces.
Carers, family members and friends can complete the form in advance, recording all vital details, such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph etc. In the event of your family member or friend going missing, the form can be easily handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.
The Herbert Protocol is named after George Herbert, a decorated war veteran of the Normandy landings who had dementia. George continually went missing from his care home and the police would have to find him. Norfolk Police helped to develop the protocol to help people with dementia who had gone missing to get back to a place of safety as quickly as possible.
The protocol originally focused on people in care homes, but in 2015 it was extended to include individuals living in their own home with dementia. In November 2018 the Herbert Protocol was relaunched and extended again to include individuals with other types of memory loss or other cognitive difficulties.
If someone goes missing, and their whereabouts cannot be established, you MUST call the police on 999, even if you haven't completed a Herbert Protocol.
Some people worry they will be criticised for calling the police, but if you are concerned about a person's safety then this will not happen. Please let the police control room know if you have a Herbert Protocol when you report someone missing.