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Cleveland Police has introduced a protocol in partnership with local children’s homes and local authority partners to build on information sharing when vulnerable children go missing.
The Philomena Protocol encourages carers, staff, families and friends to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a young person going missing from care.
The initiative aims to save valuable time when a report is made of a missing young person, and ultimately locate them more quickly.
Local authorities and children’s homes will keep a log of specific information regarding the young people in their care, which will become immediately available to officers when a report is made of a missing young person.
The officers will then be able to commence their enquiries in order to locate them.
Police held a launch event today, Monday 18th November, with partner agencies to highlight how the initiative works and the benefits it can bring. Officers will continue to work closely with local authorities and children’s homes to raise awareness of the Protocol and further implement it.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Simon Walker said: “The introduction of the Philomena Protocol will see efficient information sharing between children’s homes and local authorities when young people go missing.
“The initiative builds on the success of the Herbert Protocol, which was introduced as an information sharing scheme with care homes and people caring for others with dementia, in the event that someone living with dementia goes missing.
“The Protocol focuses on protecting vulnerable young people, whilst understanding their need for independence. Any child or young person at risk of going missing, for any reason, is encompassed within this. It could have the potential to save lives.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Protecting vulnerable people is one of my key priorities so I’m pleased to support the implementation of the Philomena Protocol in Cleveland.
“Any time we can save in starting the search for a vulnerable missing young person is crucial and could even save a life.”
Anyone who requires further information regarding the Philomena Protocol can contact Cleveland Police by emailing [email protected]
*** Photo above shows (L-R): Supt Wendy Tinkler, T/Detective Chief Inspector Simon Walker, Police & Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Orchard and Detective Inspector Steve Bell ***