Chief Officers Become ‘Dementia Friends’

Chief officers and other senior staff from Cleveland Police and Sopra Steria have shown their commitment to better understand the needs of people living with dementia by becoming ‘Dementia Friends’.

Chief Officers Become ‘Dementia Friends’

Chief Constable Iain Spittal, Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Simon Nickless and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Ciaron Irvine have become ‘Dementia Friends’ after undertaking training to help improve the level of engagement between Cleveland Police and those with dementia and the people around them.

There are currently more than 34,000 people across the North East living with dementia and over recent months work has been ongoing to highlight dementia awareness across the Force.

In May this year, Cleveland Police joined the local Dementia Action Alliance when Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger signed a Dementia Friendly Charter, which details Cleveland Police’s commitment to training all existing and new staff on dementia awareness. This creates a support network of trained staff who will provide extra support and advice to colleagues when required.

The Force also implemented the ‘Herbert Protocol’ which encourages carers, families, friends and neighbours of those with dementia to hold information about the person with dementia which could help the police find them if they go missing.

Chief Constable Iain Spittal said: “In policing we come into contact with people from all backgrounds and some with varying vulnerabilities. As an emergency service we need to do our best to understand those vulnerabilities so that we can protect those people as best as we can.

“In improving our level of engagement with people living with dementia, we are showing our commitment to understanding our local communities and ensuring that we do our job to the best of our ability.”