A new initiative which provides valuable information for those who search for missing vulnerable people has been launched in North Wales.
The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme being introduced across the region by the North Wales Safeguarding Board and North Wales Police to encourage carers and family members to compile useful key information which could be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.
This can include details of places frequented, medication required, general routines, description and recent photograph.
In the event of a family member or friend going missing, the information can easily be sent to frontline police officers and PCSOs, to reduce the time taken in gathering this information and will provide those involved in the search for the missing person with essential information to promote their safe return.
The protocol is named after George Herbert, a war veteran of the D-Day landings in Normandy. He was suffering from dementia when he went missing several years ago.
Neil Ayling, chief officer – social services at Flintshire County Council and is the chair of the North Wales Adults Safeguarding Board, said: “There is nothing more frightening or distressing than when a loved one, friend or neighbour fails to return home when they are expected.
“For people living with someone with dementia, this could be quite common and the Herbert Protocol could give you some peace of mind.
“People still need their independence and the protocol can help to reassure their family and friends that, if their loved one does go missing, the information can be passed through swiftly and there is a greater chance of finding them quickly.”
Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard added: “North Wales Police is committed to helping those people with dementia live an independent life for as long as possible.
“The Herbert Protocol provides reassurance to families and loved ones, assisting us in obtaining accurate, vital information, giving us the best opportunity to locate the individual as soon as possible.
“I would ask those who know someone who is living with dementia to complete the form and keep it safe in the event that they have to report their loved one missing.”