Cumbria Constabulary adopt the Forcer Protocol

Cumbria Constabulary is pleased to announce that the force is adopting a ground-breaking initiative which aims to prevent missing veterans coming to harm.

The Forcer Protocol is a tool used by the police to ensure key information is available to them when they are searching for service veterans who are lost or have gone missing when they return home.

The protocol gives police access to veterans’ details such as any key vulnerabilities or any known-risk factors, and where they have been found if they went missing before.

Veterans or their families have to give consent to those details being shared first.

The protocol has been developed by founder Claire Lilly and is named after her former husband Alan Forcer, who joined the military aged 16 and served in Northern Ireland and Kosovo. Alan took his own life after going missing in May 2020.

Prior to an individual going missing, a veteran or their professional carers, family members or friends can complete a form which records vital information in relation to the veteran in case they go missing. The form is available here: Forcer Protocol – Safe and Found Online.

Officers will only ever ask for the information provided on the form if the person is reported to them as a missing person using the below three-step approach:

  1. The person is reported missing to Cumbria Constabulary. Our call handlers will then ask whether that person is known to be a veteran in every missing case as part of the initial assessment. The Force’s Command and Control Room can then get direct access to Safe and Found Online, giving them crucial information in a matter of minutes.
  2. Cumbria Constabulary will then identify the risk, investigate, and will hopefully locate the missing person safe and well.
  3. A referral is then completed on a Single Veterans Pathway to ensure that the veteran gets the correct support they need and will potentially reduce demand on policing in the long-term.

Whilst anyone can sign-up, it is important to note that if the person who is missing is in the Cumbria area, officers will automatically be able to access the details through Safe & Found Online when checking if they are a veteran.

If in another force area, the person reporting the missing person needs to make it clear to the respective police force that details have been submitted through the Forcer Protocol so an access request can be granted to them.

Inspector Charlie Tresham, of Cumbria Constabulary, has worked closely with Greater Manchester Police and Claire Lilly to implement the protocol in Cumbria.

He said: “We are extremely pleased to implement this fantastic initiative which aims to locate veterans and prevent them coming to harm.

“The Forcer Protocol has been designed to support veterans in our communities, ensuring we reduce the risk to vulnerable people and put support in place to prevent repeat demand.

“Serving within and transitioning from the Armed Forces can be an overwhelming experience at times and in some instances difficult and distressing.

“I would encourage all service veterans, reservists, and current serving members of the armed forces to please consider visiting the Safe and Found Online website and complete the form. These details will provide the police key information to find you should you ever go missing.

“We are pleased to be first force in country to follow the fantastic work done by Greater Manchester Police in adopting this life-saving initiative.”

Claire Lilly, who founded the Protocol in Alan’s memory, added: “We are deeply honoured and truly humbled to receive the remarkable news that following on from a successful pilot and full implementation of the Forcer Protocol by Greater Manchester Police, that Cumbria Constabulary are going to implement the protocol in their force area.

“This news holds profound significance for our family, as it reaffirms t

Well over 70 veterans have been swiftly located by Greater Manchester Police and placed into specialised veteran specific services after being reported missing. This protocol emerges as a beacon of promise. With its implementation, we are steadfast in our belief that it will serve as a vital lifeline for our revered servicemen and women, ensuring their safety and well-being while providing the necessary support to thrive within our society.



he enduring impact of Alan’s life and legacy. Knowing that his passing has catalysed such meaningful change fills our hearts with profound gratitude and solace. We are deeply moved by the recognition of his life’s significance and are committed to honouring his memory through the positive impact of the Forcer Protocol. Cumbria Constabulary will become the second force the in the country to adopt this life saving protocol.”

Actor, author, and television presenter, Ross Kemp is a key public advocate of the Forcer Protocol. He said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Cumbria Police for adopting the Forcer Protocol.

“I am an ambassador for Safe and Found Online because I think it is a great conduit between the public and the police. Safe and Found Online will help police forces locate vulnerable people faster. It will also help police with information in terms of how they approach a vulnerable person once they have been found.

“I have a number of friends who served in Afghanistan, whilst I was out there between 2007 and 2012, who are now vulnerable. I know the Forcer Protocol helped keep them safe and also gives reassurance to their families.”

For more information on The Forcer Protocol and to complete a form, please visit: Forcer Protocol – Safe and Found Online.


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