Herbert Protocol

Date published: 10 November 2023 11:37

The Herbert Protocol is an information gathering tool used for early intervention and to reduce the risk around vulnerable people with Dementia or Alzheimer's who may be at risk of going missing.

The information gathering tool consists of a form 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 loved one goes missing, it can be deeply distressing and upsetting for family and friends. Being asked by a police officer to recall lots of detailed information can add to this stress, and therefore the process is designed to remove some of the worry.

When should I complete the form?

As soon as possible. The sooner the form is completed, the quicker police can use the information provided to track your loved one.

Where can I find the form?

You can download the form here. 

Where do I send the form?

Email your completed form to: Herbert_Protocol@southyorks.pnn.police.uk.

Or send to: Moss Way Police Station, Sheffield, S20 7XX

Remember to keep a copy of the form at the person’s home address too.

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 or friend is missing?

If you believe a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s is missing, this is an emergency, and you should call 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 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.
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.

If you have the information form with you, tell the police operator. An officer will come and collect the form. If you don’t have it with you, don’t worry, the officer may 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 you are supported throughout the process.

Wristbands and Hangtags

Following completion of a form, relatives and carers can request an NFC enabled (Near-field Communication) assistance wristband or hangtag for their family members. The devices are programmed by South Yorkshire Police and store information about the wearer including their name and an emergency contact number. The wristbands and hangtags can be worn by the vulnerable person and in the event if the individual goes missing, information can be retrieved by emergency services and health professionals via a mobile phone to help return the wearer to safety. Please send email requests with a completed Herbert Protocol form to: herbert_protocol@southyorks.pnn.police.uk

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