Lancashire Constabulary has chosen Dementia Action Week to launch a new initiative designed to help safeguard people with dementia. The initiative which partners with Alzheimer’s Society and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is a scheme designed to assist the search process when vulnerable people go missing.
The Herbert Protocol involves families pre-preparing information on loved ones, including descriptions and places they are known to visit, so that should they go missing, emergency services have all the essential information they need to hand to help with their investigation. The scheme, which is already up and running in other parts of the country, will not only assist officers and crews but also reduce the stress on family and friends in the event of a missing person’s enquiry.
Commenting on the initiative, Inspector Christina Shorrock from Lancashire Police said: “With an ageing population, dementia is something that will inevitably affect us all, either personally or professionally or both. As such, I’m very pleased that we are working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services and North West Ambulance Service, to promote this programme which aims to safeguard some of the most vulnerable members of our community and reduce stress on families in the event of a loved one with dementia going missing. It’s just one of a range of different initiatives being undertaken by the Constabulary as part of our commitment to being a Dementia Friendly Organisation.”
Alison Wakefield, Dementia Friendly Communities Officer Alzheimer’s Society in the North West, said: “We are delighted that Lancashire Constabulary is uniting against dementia this Dementia Action Week by introducing the Herbert Protocol for the 16,280 people living with dementia in Lancashire. People with dementia are particularly vulnerable if they go missing from a care home or other familiar setting. They may be trying to find their way back to their home or somewhere else from their past life that they have happy memories of, but can quickly become confused and completely lost. This new scheme ties in to Dementia Action Week nicely which is calling on everyone to take actions, big or small, to make a huge difference to people affected by dementia. It will enable officers to act quickly to find someone who has gone missing and hopefully minimise the distress this can result in for the individual and their family, shaping Lancashire to be a better place for people with dementia to live.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have assisted Lancashire Constabulary in a number of missing persons cases and from the proceeds of crime together bought a drone to assist in such cases which has been used at incidents since October 2017. The drone – an Aeryon Skyranger – is one of the most advanced in the world and has features such as advanced high-definition zoom lens, Infra-Red vision and day and night flying ability.
To complete the Herbert Protocol form for a loved on please click here.
If anyone needs any advice or information about dementia they can go to alzheimers.org.uk or find their local office here.