Dartmoor rescue help with searches for missing vulnerable people
Dartmoor rescue group, originally set up in 1968 by local walkers help locate missing people on the more and now spending their time in urban areas searching for people with dementia.
Devonshire and Cornwall police say that there have been more than 600 searches for vulnerable people with dementia or mental health issues in the past three years. Due to the rise in these types of searches, Dartmoor volunteers are now being given specific training on how to deal with these sorts of incidents.
Colin Sturmer, chairman of Dartmoor Rescue Group, said: “We have 36 qualified team members and our weekly training sessions includes how best to approach someone with dementia who may be disorientated, confused and frightened.
“The police ask for our assistance when someone is reported missing from a private family home or residential nursing home who could be vulnerable because of their mental health.
“The majority of our work is now within urban and lowland areas and we have a special computer programme which suggests potential areas to search where the person has been reported missing to help us prioritise the team efforts.”
Figures show that over three years there have been 616 reported incidents of missing people with a dementia condition.
A police spokesman said that “we’d really struggle without their assistance.”
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