The Herbert Protocol is a police-led initiative that aims to support the search and rescue of individuals with dementia or other memory-related conditions who go missing. It was introduced in the UK in 2011 and has since been adopted by police forces across the country.

The protocol is named after George Herbert, a war veteran who went missing in 2011. His family worked with local police to develop a protocol that would help prevent tragedies from occurring in the future.

Under the Herbert Protocol, caregivers of individuals with dementia or other memory-related conditions are encouraged to provide the police with a set of information that can be used in the event that the person goes missing. This information includes a recent photograph, a list of their medication, details of any wandering habits or favourite locations, and other important information.

By having this information readily available, the police can quickly and efficiently search for the missing person. This can be particularly important in cases where the individual may not be able to communicate their whereabouts or may be disorientated.

The Herbert Protocol is a good idea for several reasons. Firstly, by having a set of information readily available, the police can quickly and efficiently search for the missing person, increasing the chances of them being found safe and well.

Secondly, the protocol can help reduce the amount of time and resources needed to conduct a search. Without the protocol, police may need to spend valuable time gathering information about the missing person, delaying the search and potentially reducing the chances of a successful outcome.

Finally, the Herbert Protocol can provide peace of mind to caregivers and families of individuals with dementia or other memory-related conditions. Knowing that their loved one’s information is readily available to the police can alleviate some of the stress and anxiety associated with caring for someone with these conditions.

The Herbert Protocol is a simple but effective tool that can improve the chances of a swift and successful search and rescue operation.



Further information and links:

 Each Police service can have a slightly different version of the Herbert Protocol form, so it’s best to use your local force’s form. The easiest way to find this is to search Google for the name of your county or region’s police force together with the words ‘Herbert Protocol’, for example ‘Cheshire Police Herbert Protocol’. 

A short selection of Police links are below as examples:

The Metropolitan Police


Police Scotland (with video)



Greater Manchester Police