Isle of Wight Search & Rescue
The Herbert Protocol
The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the police in partnership with 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 can complete in advance, a form 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 initiative is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia. George Herbert died whilst 'missing', trying to find his childhood home.
What is the Herbert Protocol?
It is a simple risk reduction tool to be used in the event of an adult with care and support needs going missing. It consists of a form that contains vital information about a person at risk that can be passed to the police at the point the person is reported missing.
A recent photograph of the person should also be kept with the form. It is not intended to replace existing safeguarding and security measures.
Who decides who is at risk?
The judgement should be based on your professional opinion or knowledge of your family member.
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.
The form should be completed and regularly updated, so that all the information is as relevant as possible.
When should the form be sent 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.
Where should the form be stored?
It should be stored securely in the care setting, in accordance with data protection laws, but where you can find it quickly.
Printed or electronic form?
You can download the form below, a paper copy will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person's report.
What should a care provider 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 that 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.
To download the form please click here
To download the guidance notes click here