A PROTOCOL to help find vulnerable adults who have gone missing is to be adopted by Cumbria Constabulary.
The Herbert Protocol is a form which the family or carer of a vulnerable adult will be asked to complete. The information included on the form, such as photograph, travel patterns and favourite places to visit will allow the police to act quickly in event the person goes missing.
It is particularly useful when officers are called to assist in locating a missing person with dementia as those beginning the search can receive vital information immediately including health information which could be extremely important.
"The first moments after we receive a missing person report can be crucial," said Detective Inspector Brian Murray, of Cumbria Constabulary. "When we receive a missing person report there is a necessity to take down as much detailed information as possible about who the person is, what they look like and where they may visit.
"Taking down all of this information can obviously be time-consuming and set back efforts to locate the person. Going through these details with a police officer at a highly upsetting and stressful time can also be difficult for families and carers. However, if the Herbert Protocol has been completed then we essentially able to hit the ground running and are able to move quickly on to trying to locate the missing person.
"The protocol will help everyone from the police to families and carers be best prepared for an unanticipated emergency."
The protocol is named after George Herbert, a veteran of the Second World War who sadly died whilst missing and seeking to get to his childhood home.
The protocol is essentially a "Life History Questionnaire" which constitutes a record of a range of background information about the person cared for. It is retained in a safe place so that it is immediately available to police and search teams in the event that the person goes missing.