26 September 2023

Police database helps find lost people

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The WA Police Force and Australia Medic Alert Foundation have announced that more than 200 families have registered a family member on the Safe & Found database in its first 12 months of operation.

The database was developed by the police in partnership with the Medic Alert Foundation, to assist police to more rapidly locate vulnerable people living with dementia, autism or a cognitive impairment that increased their chances of going missing.

In a statement, WA Police said having access to information such as ‘lost person behaviour’, or a recent photo of the missing person, could make a significant difference to the early stages of a search, improving the chances of finding the missing person.

“In 2017 WA Police Force conducted 46 land searches for persons living with dementia who had become lost,” the Police said.

“By 2020 that number increased to 78 searches and in 2021 there were 170 searches.”

They said that to date in 2022 there had already been more than 140 searches for lost people living with dementia.

“We anticipate this could reach as many as 200 searches by the end of the year,” the Police said.

They said outcomes from searches over the past 12 months included members of the public recognising a missing person from a Safe & Found profile photo released by police, and a member of the public identifying a confused person wearing a Safe & Found ID bracelet and alerting police to their location.

Extra information about the Safe & Found initiative can be accessed at this PS News link and advice on how to register someone is available on this link.

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