02:00PM, Friday 02 February 2018
A new tool to find people with dementia who have gone missing was launched by Thames Valley Police (TVP) on Monday.
The Herbert Protocol enables the family or carers of people living with dementia to record key information about them, such as their medication, favourite places to visit, and key people they know.
Should the person go missing, the information can be passed to officers to help speed searches.
TVP Detective Inspector Ivan Reaney said: “Within the Thames Valley area around 250 dementia sufferers go missing each year.
“The danger is they might be at risk from falling or the elements, and accidentally getting harmed.
“Hopefully we will find these people much quicker.”
The form is now being used by police all over the UK.
It is named after George Herbert, a D-Day veteran who had dementia and regularly went missing from his care home in Norfolk.
Memory problems, a common symptom that people with dementia experience, can lead to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability, and cause them to go missing.
Police do not keep a copy of the form, due to data protection laws, and they urge families and carers to keep them in a place they can access easily in case of emergency.
They also advise families and carers to keep the forms as up to date as possible, to ensure their effectiveness should they need to be used.
Online and physical copies of the forms can be accessed at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/about-us/publications-and-documents/herbert-protocol/
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