Sussex Police adopts ‘Herbert Protocol’

Dementia father and son

Protecting the more vulnerable in our society has been given a further boost this week due to Sussex Police adapting a new protocol to help speed up the search for missing people living with dementia. The Force, along with partner agencies, is adopting the ‘Herbert Protocol’ which gives carers, relatives or friends the ability to prepare, in advance, information that officers need quickly when a loved one goes missing.

The scheme has already been adopted by several forces across the UK and is named after George Herbert from Norfolk, a veteran of the Normandy landings, who lived with dementia and repeatedly went missing from his care home.

With more than 850,000 people affected by dementia in the UK and numbers set to rise, Sussex Police have worked in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society and Sussex Search and Rescue (SusSAR) to plan this scheme.

How it works:

Family or carers of those living with dementia complete a form that records crucial information about the person – including their regular medication, previous addresses and daily routines. Should the person then go missing, the form can be handed straight to the attending police officer, along with a photograph. This will provide officers with the most up to date information about the vulnerable missing person, helping to accurately guide their search, and avoid further unnecessary questions for families at what can be an extremely distressing time.

With an ageing population increasing across our county, the need for the ‘Herbert Protocol’ has never been greater.


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