A national scheme, which helps locate vulnerable people when they go missing, has been launched in Huddersfield.
Called the Herbert Protocol, it encourages carers, family and friends to provide useful information which can then be used in the event of a vulnerable person going missing.
All vital details are filled in such as medication required, mobile numbers, places previously located, a photograph, etc.
This way the record of information, which is retained by the family, can be provided to the police who will use that information in their search.
The scheme is named after a war veteran of the Normandy landings.
George Herbert had dementia and sadly died while he was ‘missing’ on his way to his childhood home.
Dr Berenice Golding and Prof Janet Hargreaves, both from the University of Huddersfield, organised the launch which was held at the university.
West Yorkshire Police has been using the Herbert Protocol for two years and Det Insp Vanessa Rolfe, of Kirklees CID, is delighted that scheme is being launched in the area.
She said: “The University of Huddersfield has been extremely proactive in raising awareness of dementia and the impact it can have on those with dementia and their families and friends and seemed an ideal venue to launch the scheme in Kirklees.
“The first few hours of any missing person search are critical, but even more so when a person has dementia or another condition that can leave them confused and vulnerable.
“The Herbert Protocol ensures that a search operation can be immediately tailored to the known details of the missing person without the need for certain carers, relatives or friends with that knowledge being available.
“The scheme only works though if people sign up and this event is all about raising awareness among those with care responsibility for someone with dementia of the Herbert Protocol and how it could benefit them.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police Crime Commissioner, opened the launch event and said the Herbert Protocol has his full support.
He said: “It is incredibly important that we protect vulnerable victims and that the police are accessible and adaptable to all the communities we serve.
“People with dementia are vulnerable and need treating with care, compassion and dignity.
“I am proud to see West Yorkshire Police are doing what they can to ensure officers and staff understand the individual needs of those with dementia by way of working with the University of Huddersfield and many others.”