Safer Walking Profile

Safer Walking Profile

People enjoy going for a weekend morning walk over the Tauranga Harbour Bridge.
People enjoying at Saturday morning walk over the Tauranga Harbour Bridge. (Photo, LandSAR)

The Safer Walking Profile is a risk reduction tool designed for anyone who is at risk of going missing when walking. It is based on The Herbert Protocol, the UK national scheme to help support people with dementia.

The form contains vital information about the person at risk which can be given to the police at the time the person is reported missing. A recent photograph of the person should also be kept with the form. It is not intended to replace existing safeguarding and security measures.

Who decides who is at risk?

The judgement should be based on your own opinion or knowledge of your family member.

Who completes the form?

The person at risk, or their family, can fill in the form; or in a care setting, the care provider. Please seek permission from the person at risk; if this is not possible talk to a person authorised to give permission on their behalf. If neither is possible, the care provider should make a ‘best interests’ assessment. The form should be completed and regularly updated, so that all the information is as relevant as possible.

When should the form be sent to the police?

The police only need the form at the point the person is reported missing. There is no need to hand it to police before then and the form will be returned once the person is found.

Where should the form be stored?

It should be stored securely in the care setting, in accordance with data protection laws, but where you can find it quickly. Check and update the information in the form regularly.

What should a care provider do if the person goes missing?

After you have conducted an ‘open door’ search of the address, grounds and outbuildings and you believe a person is missing, alert the police at the earliest opportunity. If you believe that the person missing is at a high risk of harm, please call 111. Tell the police operator that you have the Safer Walking Profile.

When should the form be completed?

As soon as possible.

A paper copy will need to be handed to the police officer who attends to take the missing person’s report.