Someone’s gone missing

Tens of thousands of people go missing every year in the region, for lots of different reasons. But if you’ve ever heard the rumour that you must wait 24 hours before reporting someone missing, that’s not true.

If you know of someone who could be considered high-risk and you can establish that they are not where they should be, and they are not contactable, then report them missing to the Police as soon as possible.

Examples of what could be considered high-risk include, but are not limited to:

  • Dementia or Alzheimers sufferers*
  • Children*
  • People with Autism*
  • People with depression or mental health issues
  • People dependent on medication, who don’t have it with them
  • Hikers or mountain bikers who are overdue returning from remote areas
  • Elderly or frail people
  • Anyone not dressed or equipped for bad weather in remote or rural locations

* If the place they were last seen is near a water course, lake or pond, it is extremely important to have a look for them here as soon as possible. These people will not be aware of the risk from the water. However, never look for people near water alone – always go in pairs or groups.


If you are a carer for an adult or child who could be considered high-risk when missing, it may be worth considering completing a free Herbert Protocol sheet, to help the Police and SAR teams deploy quickly.