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The Herbert Protocol continues to help save lives as GMP adopt online portal

GMP have now adopted the online portal and form for the Herbert Protocol.

This allows officers to access vital details if a vulnerable person with dementia is reported missing. Officers are encouraging people within Greater Manchester to now sign-up through Safe and Found Online.

Available via Safe and Found Online, the Herbert Protocol has been in place since around 2016, with the national protocol now being adopted locally in our area again. This encourages carers and family members to compile essential information that could prove invaluable if a vulnerable person, including those with dementia, goes missing.

It now involves completing an online form with all relevant details by family members, friends, or carers. The information is then stored on Safe and Found Online and accessed by our officers when someone is reported missing.  

The form, accompanied by a recent photograph, records vital information such as the person's physical description, medical conditions, mobile phone number, known locations or likely places they may visit, contact details of friends, and any other pertinent historical information.

Following the recent introduction of the Forcer Protocol, the Herbert Protocol is now available online for people in Greater Manchester via Safe and Found Online, following the National Dementia Care Conference taking place in Manchester today (Tuesday 23 April 2024).

Safe and Found Online is a digital information bank that encourages carers of vulnerable people who are at risk of going missing to compile useful information about them. This data can save vital time in putting together a search and rescue plan in a missing persons event.

Initially, Safe and Found Online ran a pilot for the Herbert Protocol with West Yorkshire Police and we are now the next police force to adopt this online version of the protocol.

This means that if someone goes missing, the relevant police force in that area can access the information immediately and use it to make a risk assessment to find that person quicker.

Named after George Herbert, a decorated war veteran of the Normandy landings who was living with dementia. George continually went missing from his care home with officers having to locate him. Norfolk Constabulary developed the protocol to help people living with dementia who had gone missing to get back to a place of safety as quickly as possible. This originally focused on people in care homes, but in 2015 it was extended to include individuals living in their own home with dementia.

Superintendent Jane Higham, strategic lead for child protection and missing people, said: "The Herbert Protocol has guided us in safeguarding those with dementia. 

“Today, we evolve with its online relaunch via Safe and Found Online, where swift access to vital information empowers our force control centre and district staff to conduct informed risk assessments and expedite enquiries. 

“Together, we enhance our capacity to protect the most vulnerable among us."

Joint project leads Chief Inspector Mark Mangnall and Detective Chief Inspector Pete Morley have been managing the online relaunch of the Herbert Protocol. 

Mark Mangnall said: “Having led on the Forcer Protocol, I recognised the cross-over between veterans' needs and dementia challenges. The leap to bring the Herbert Protocol online signifies our commitment to caring for those most vulnerable in our communities."

Pete Morley commented: "The Herbert Protocol give us the opportunity to quickly locate some of our most vulnerable and at-risk missing people as quickly as possible. By sharing the new opportunities offered by Safe and Found Online with our communities of Greater Manchester, we can gather information as quickly as possible to keep our loved ones safe." 

Families of people suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia can go online to register information about their relative or loved one. In the event of someone going missing, the police can access vital information with immediate effect. 

Previously, this information was stored on a paper form completed by the family or the care home of the Alzheimer’s or dementia patient. This could lead to delays in finding and accessing the information if the form couldn’t easily be located.

Whilst the preference is to ensure all relevant information is stored online, the paper form option will still be available to ensure that people without computers can still access it.

For more information around the Hebert Protocol please follow the below links, which includes direct access to the online form.

Additional information: Herbert Protocol | Greater Manchester Police (gmp.police.uk)

Online form: safeandfoundonline.co.uk/register.php

Safe and Found Online: Herbert Protocol – Safe and Found Online

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