This project is a bottom-up initiative that started in 2006 with the aim of dealing better with people with dementia who get lost in the community. The local police service covering 5 local authority areas (HEKLA) took responsibility for the project and brought together all the relevant community-based parties, including nursing homes and hospitals. They signed a joint protocol that aims to provide an efficient procedure for dealing with disappearances of people with dementia and youngsters.
As time is crucial in finding and returning these vulnerable people safely, the partners agreed to actively support professional communication with the local police service. This involves providing fast access to a well-documented file on the missing person, including personal details and information about the ‘last point seen’. Since the implementation of these optimized communication procedures, missing people are now located in less than 2 hours on average.
The project has already been adopted by eight other local police services in Belgium.