The police forces in Norfolk and Suffolk have joined forces with Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance and the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to increase their understanding of dementia and improve the service provided to missing people suffering from the illness and their families.
Norfolk and Suffolk both have an ageing population, and a big number of the 4,300 people who went missing in the two counties between April 2012 and March 2013 will have been dementia sufferers.
Police ‘search advisers’ in both counties profile missing people and draw up search plans based upon their lifestyle, so they have been keen to learn more about dementia to assess why a sufferer may go missing, and how they might respond when approached.
Head of protective services for Norfolk and Suffolk, assistant chief constable Gareth Wilson, said: “Searching for a missing person with dementia can be challenging so I welcome anything that increases our knowledge. Supporting vulnerable people is a priority for both forces, and this training from our partners will prove invaluable.”