Police strategy over missing persons with dementia launched

Essex Police

ESSEX Police has adopted a national scheme aimed to help reduce the time taken to gather vital information when a person with dementia goes missing.

The Herbert Protocol, named after war veteran George Herbert who lived with dementia, encourages carers, friends and relatives of people with dementia to fill in a form which could help authorities find their loved one quicker in the event of them going missing.

Essex Police is working with Essex County Council, Thurrock and Southend unitary authorities and the Alzheimer’s Society to encourage the completion of the form which can then be passed to the police in the event someone with dementia cannot be found.

The form records all the vital details in one place including medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located or attended, a photo, details of daily routine etc.

In the event someone goes missing a completed form saves vital time allowing officers the ability to get on with searching rather than gathering basic information.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “When someone goes missing it’s imperative that police officers have as much information about that person as possible to help us find them.

“If that information has been gathered in advance it saves us precious time which can be spent looking for someone.”

Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, said: “Nothing is more worrying or distressing than when a loved one or friend goes missing or doesn’t return home, so I empathise with those living with, or caring for someone with dementia who sometimes go astray. I am delighted to be supporting the Herbert Protocol and encourage all carers, families, friends or neighbours to download the form, complete it and store it to help Essex Police in the event a loved one goes missing.”

Completed forms will be kept by carers and relatives in a safe place so they can be given to the authorities in the event someone does go missing.

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