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Helping emergency services find missing vulnerable people FAST

Helping emergency services find missing vulnerable people FAST

Monday 21 May 2018

(Issued jointly with Kent Police, Kent Search and Rescue and National Police Air Service)

A potentially life-saving form could help police and search teams find vulnerable missing people quicker.

The ‘At Risk of Going Missing’ form provides quick, detailed information about a person’s background and history to help police to identify priority areas to search, often speeding up the time taken to find them, particularly if the person is living with dementia.

In support of Dementia Action Week which runs from 21 to 27 May, Kent Search and Rescue (KSAR), in collaboration with Kent Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS), and the National Police Air Service, have produced a video that shows how a completed form can help partners work together to quickly find a missing person when they have detailed information about a person’s habits and interests.

Every year, Kent Police receives approximately 10,000 missing person reports and an increasing number of these are for people living with dementia.

The form, which is handed out by all agencies, allows police, Kent Search and Rescue and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to gather as much useful information as possible. It gives an indication of someone’s mobility, preferred mode of travelling, routes frequented, general health issues and significant places they are likely to gravitate towards. This form enables all this information to be documented in advance.

Completed forms are kept in a safe place by families or carers so they can be found quickly if the person is reported missing. They are also stored on police systems, meaning officers have easy access to the information when needed most.

Phil Morris, Community officer at Kent Search and Rescue said: “We have produced this video message in support of Dementia Action Week in the hope that it will help people understand how important a completed “At Risk” form can be and, in doing do so, encourage more families to fill in the form if they are caring for someone who is living with dementia, or who may go missing for another reason.

Please don’t wait until the person goes missing. Download the form from the Kent Police, KSAR or KFRS website(s) and fill it in today! The information that you record in the form may give us the one important clue that we need to help find your missing loved-one…when every second counts.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “Our aim is to make sure that if people living with dementia become lost or go missing that we can do our best to return them home as quickly as possible so they don’t come to any harm.

“By filling in this form officers can gather as much information as possible, as quickly as possible so would encourage anyone who lives with someone with dementia to fill in the form.  It could save a life.”

Chris Colgan, Assistant Director Response & Training at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and a member of the KSAR board of trustees, said: “Keeping safe is important for us all, however it can become difficult to maintain safety if you or someone you know is living with dementia, particularly if living alone. This form is a really useful tool, and can help us and partner agencies to find a missing person with dementia more quickly, reducing the chance of someone getting into harm’s way, and even saving a life.”

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