Local Policing: Working to raise awareness of dementia

Official launch of Dementia Friendly Todmorden, Todmorden Town Hall. Pictured are PCSO Dave Evans, Cherie Blair, Sgt Vanessa Rolfe, PCSO Abigail Jarvis, Tony Booth and Sgt Neil Taylor
Official launch of Dementia Friendly Todmorden, Todmorden Town Hall. Pictured are PCSO Dave Evans, Cherie Blair, Sgt Vanessa Rolfe, PCSO Abigail Jarvis, Tony Booth and Sgt Neil Taylor

Hello everyone. This month I wanted to let you know about some of the work that my police officers and PCSOs are undertaking within the community, writes Inspector Rachel Bairstow, of the Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team.

On Saturday, May 9, the Dementia Friendly Todmorden (DFT) launch was held at Todmorden Town Hall. The event was well attended with guest speakers including Sergeant Vanessa Rolfe, the West Yorkshire Police Project lead; Cherie Blair, whose father is Tony Booth; and Geoff Shaw, from the Todmorden Fire and Rescue Service.

The DFT is led by Stephanie Booth, whose husband and actor Tony Booth has dementia himself.

Stephanie wanted to make Todmorden a more aware and friendlier place to live for those persons in the community with dementia and set up DFT.

My officers at Todmorden have been working very hard as a partner to the DFT group, led by Sergeant Neil Taylor, the Community Champion for Calderdale, and assisted by PCSO Abigail Jarvis and PCSO Dave Evans.

Sergeant Taylor has recently been trained in dementia awareness and is currently sharing information with every officer in the Calderdale District to ensure that where officers deal with a call for service and come across a person with dementia they will be better equipped in communicating effectively with that person and have an understanding of their illness.

Officers have also been introduced to the Herbert Protocol, which is a basic missing person form, completed by a relative, carer or neighbour with details about the person they look after or care for with dementia detailing e.g. places regularly frequented, a recent photograph and descriptive details of the person so that we have this information readily to hand to use should that person be reported as missing.

If you care for someone with dementia, by completing this form the process, should they go missing, will be speedier and aid the police to search for the person a lot quicker.

In adverse weather conditions this could prove to be a life saver. Our aim is to locate people quickly, safe and well and to have an understanding of the illness and offer reassurance.

If anyone would like further information, please contact Sgt Neil Taylor at Todmorden Police Station or contact our NPT mailbox.

There is also a dementia friendly cafe at the town hall in Todmorden every Saturday morning for families linked to dementia as well as the public, which police regularly visit.

I am keen that my staff across the whole of Calderdale promote and use the Herbert Protocol forms within the community and be dementia friendly.