Certain people are more at risk of going missing than others, possibly because of their situation (for example children in care) or medical issues (for example people with dementia or some people with mental health issues).

People who have gone missing before may be at risk of going missing again, especially if the issues which led to them going missing before have not been resolved.

This does not mean that every child in care, everyone with dementia or everyone who has gone missing before will go missing. But it makes sense to plan ahead to try to stop people going missing, and gathering information about the person ahead of time so you can quickly give it to us if they go missing.


If you care for someone with dementia, whether in a care home or in their own home, you can fill out a Herbert Protocol form which includes details about the person, their past, their habits and places they go. Then if they go missing you can give it to us and save time at the start of a search.

More about the Herbert Protocol

Advice for carers of people with dementia at risk of going missing

Other vulnerable people

Even if you decided not to report it to the police at the time, people who have gone missing before might be at risk of going missing again.

Or someone who has never gone missing before might be at risk, for example if they have talked about going missing.

Some of the advice for dealing with a missing episode after a missing person has come back might be useful to you if you care for or are close to someone you think is at risk of going missing.