Police launch new tool to help find missing dementia sufferers

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A new initiative to help trace missing dementia sufferers has been launched by Argyll’s police force and care sector this week.

The Herbert Protocol aims to assist in tracing vulnerable people who have dementia in the event of them being reported missing by family or carers.

It is a document that can be populated with vital information such as a photograph, contact details, medication required and significant locations relating to the individual. This information can be used by officers to save time in a responding to a missing person enquiry.

Supt Douglas Wilson, Argyll and West Dunbartonshire Policing Division said: ‘Across Argyll and Bute, Police Scotland regularly responds to Missing Person reports. When dealing with complex vulnerabilities, including dementia, it is very important that we are able to quickly obtain important information to guide our enquiry at an early stage.

‘We are delighted to see our partner agencies using and encouraging family to use this system to obtain information in advance in a way that can be provided to police should the need arise. This scheme can provide families with peace of mind knowing that they are prepared should they need to report a loved one missing.

‘We hope our local officers will never need to ask for this information but experience of the Herbert Protocol in other parts of the UK has shown that by having this information to hand it will help us to protect vulnerable adults if they go missing.’

The Herbert Protocol is being supported by the Argyll and Bute Adult Protection Committee and third sector partners who are actively encouraging everyone who knows or cares for someone who may be vulnerable to complete this form.

Alex Davidson, Independent Chair or the Argyll and Bute Adult Protection Committee said: ‘We hope that you will join us in promoting the use of the Herbert Protocol across Argyll and Bute. If you live with or care for someone suffering from dementia, I would urge you to consider completing a Herbert Protocol form even if the person has no history of going missing. If the member of your family is within a care setting, please discuss this with the care provider.’