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Date Responded 22 January 2020

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

In each of the calendar years 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014:

  1. How many missing persons cases has the force dealt with where the missing person has either Alzheimer’s or dementia? Please use the words "Alzheimer’s" and "dementia" as search terms for your log. Please provide separate figures for each of the five calendar years.
  2. How many times has the force used the Herbert Protocol is missing persons cases? Please provide separate figures for each of the five calendar years.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

The information has been provided by a free-text search on the incident descriptor field for the keyword as per your submission, however the below caveat should be noted when viewing the figures.  There is no marker to identify whether a missing person has either Alzheimer’s or dementia and a free text search for ether of those keywords would not necessarily yield accurate returns.  The only way to provide an accurate response to this request would be to manually review all missing person cases.  On average this would be approximately 8000 cases per year. This cannot be achieved within the 18 hours, even for a one year period, and has been assessed as in excess of 500 hours per year.

Additionally there is no marker which would identify if the Herbert Protocol had been used, and again a manual search of all such cases would be required to establish an accurate response. 

The figures below are therefore from the search parameters as set out at point 1 of this request.

If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would expect that you to take into consideration the factors highlighted above so as not to mislead members of the public or official bodies or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.

2014         137

2015         157

2016         109

2017         113

2018         116

2019         20

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