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The Herbert Protocol


The Herbert Protocol initiative is named after George Herbert, a Second World War veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia and repeatedly went missing from his care home whilst trying to return home.

The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme being introduced by Derbyshire Constabulary and other agencies which encourages carers to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.

Carers, family members and friends or professionals can complete the form in advance.

It is a form which records all vital details, such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph etc which will help locate the person if they ever go missing.

In the event of your family member or friend going missing, the form can be easily sent or handed to the police to reduce the time taken in gathering this information.

The Chief's Message

Our Chief Constable Mick Creedon recorded a message about the importance of the protocol.

Safe and Found

Do you care for someone who has Dementia and worry that they might go missing? For people living with or caring for someone with Dementia, this may be quite common. The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme adopted by Derbyshire Constabulary and other police services across the country. 

What is the Herbert Protocol?

It is a simple risk reduction tool to be used in the event of a person with Dementia or other mental vulnerability going missing. It consists of a form that contains vital information about a person at risk that can be passed to the police if the person is reported missing. A recent photograph of the person should also be kept with the form.

It can be downloaded from the related documents area on the right-hand-side of this page, or you can pick one up from your local police station


The basis of the scheme is for vital information about the person such as medication, description, photograph, significant places in the person’s life and their daily routine, to be recorded on a form.

Who decides who is at risk?

Anyone identified as having a risk of wandering with Dementia and Alzheimer’s or other mental vulnerability.

Who fills the form in?

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.

The form should then be stored safely - either in electronic format on a computer, or a printed version. It may need to be located quickly, at any time of day or night, by the person who needs the information to begin the initial searches.

When the form is complete, it will contain confidential information about a person so it should be stored securely. Any partner agency required to complete the form will become the data controllers and must store it appropriately. Electronic form is preferable, however, hand completed hard copies can also be used.

The police will only ask for the form, or the information in the form, if the person is reported missing.

What do I do if the person goes missing?

After you have conducted an ‘open door’ search of the address, grounds and outbuildings and you believe a person is missing, alert the police at the earliest opportunity. If you believe the person missing is at a high risk of harm, please call 999. Tell the police operator that you have the Herbert Protocol person profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I complete the form?

Try to complete the form as soon as possible.

Take the time to complete the form as best you can, with all relevant information which many help locate the person as quickly as possible   

What should I do with the form when it is completed?

Please keep it in a safe but prominent position where you can find it quickly.

Places like care folders used by support agencies or in electronic form are good examples. It is a good idea to have copies with family or friends.

The police will only ask for it if the person it refers to has been reported missing.

What should I do if my relative or friend goes missing?

Call 999 and ask for the police - have your Herbert Protocol form to hand.

I don’t understand some of the terms on the form - what should I do?

Don’t worry, just complete as much as you can.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.