The Philomena Protocol

Are you a carer or guardian for a child or young person who is at risk of going missing?

We understand nothing is more worrying or distressing than when a young person goes missing and does not return home when expected. For people living with or caring for a young person with complex needs this may be a common occurrence.

We will do all we can to help locate missing people and get them home safely as quickly as possible – particularly when they are vulnerable.

Often, missing young people head for familiar locations or try to find people who they think are their friends or who they can rely on, so having details of these people and places written down in case of emergency can really help us to speed up our search.

The Philomena Protocol is a Humberside Police initiative to help locate and safely return a young person as quickly as possible when they are missing.  The basis of the scheme is for vital information about the young person to be recorded on two forms which can be used to locate them safely and quickly.

We encourage carers, guardians and parents, to complete this form with as much detail as possible, then keep it somewhere safe – along with a recent photo.  The form needs to be regularly updated with new information on description, friends, associates, locations frequented, phone numbers and identifiers to maximise the opportunity for the young person to be found swiftly and safely.

That way, if a young person does go missing, you can give us all the information we need to start the search straight away – and you don’t have to think about significant information when you’re worried and upset:

  • Download and complete the forms as soon as possible.
  • The forms can be completed electronically or in hard copy.
  • If a relative or friend goes missing, call us on 101 (or 999 if there is an immediate risk), tell us you have completed the Philomena Protocol forms and make sure you have them to hand. 
  • Keep the completed forms in a safe place where you can find them quickly. The forms may need to be located quickly, at any time of day or night, by the person who needs the information to begin the initial searches.
  • Once completed they will contain confidential information about the young person so they should be stored securely.
  • We will only ask for the forms if the young person has been reported missing. We will ask you to email the forms to us or will arrange for a copy to be collected from you.
  • If you don't understand some of the terms on the form then please seek advice from  
  • We will use the information to help find the missing person. It will be stored securely and only shared with other agencies if there is a need to safeguard someone.