Cleveland Police recognised for work around dementia

Work by Cleveland Police to improve the way we support some of the most vulnerable in our communities has reached the finals of a national award.

The Force has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Awards as ‘Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year (Small & Medium)’.

The nomination recognises that Cleveland Police was the first Force in the country to run the ‘Safe Haven’ scheme.

The Force partnered with six local care homes to arrange places of safety. This means if officers are dealing with a person living with dementia who is found lost or disorientated they can seek refuge at one of the havens, rather than in a police vehicle or station, while officers make inquiries to assist them.

Cleveland was the second Force in the country to introduce ‘The Herbert Protocol’. This is an initiative which aims to store information which could help police should a person with dementia go missing. The Protocol encourages the family and friends of the person living with dementia to keep a record of places they may visit to assist police.

The Force has also delivered Dementia Friendly training to hundreds of officers, staff and contractors, such as those working in our custody environment.

In addition all of Cleveland Police’s marked vehicles display the ‘Dementia Friendly’ sticker to show awareness of how to assist those living with dementia.

Inspector Phil Spencer, Cleveland Police’s Blue Light and Wellbeing Coordinator, said: “I’m delighted our work to assist those living with dementia has been recognised.

“We’re proud that hundreds of people across our Force have completed Dementia Friendly training and all of our new recruits are starting their careers as Dementia Friends.

“I’m grateful to the commitment from teams and individuals across the Force who have ensured the success of these schemes.

“We’ve also had fantastic support from external partners including local representatives of the Alzheimer’s Society.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger, who is also a recognised Dementia Champion, said: “There has been a great effort within Cleveland Police to establish themselves as a Dementia Friendly organisation, which I have supported enthusiastically. It’s important that the police reflect and understand the communities they serve and I’m pleased their work has been recognised nationally.

“The close partnership working we have in Cleveland means officers, staff, volunteers and police cadets have all been able to improve their knowledge and establish processes to help improve their service for people living with dementia.”