Police on course for key front-line dementia role

POLICE in Kirklees are well on their way to becoming a dementia-friendly force.

So far, more than 70 staff from Dewsbury and Huddersfield stations have received training about the degenerative condition, including how to recognise the signs and how to approach someone with dementia.

Specialist teaching has been taken up by police of all ranks, including front desk workers, PCs and inspectors.

By the end of 2016, it is hoped that all 800 members of the district’s police force will have taken the training and become Dementia Friends.

PC Linney, from the Safer Kirklees Partnership, set up the training with social care charity Making Space.

She said: “Kirklees has an ageing population and police will increasingly find themselves in the front line dealing with people with dementia.

“We take this extremely seriously and are equipping our teams with the best training we can find.

“So far it has been very well received and we are looking forward to expanding its reach throughout the district in 2016.”

Monika Tomaszewicz, dementia advisor for Making Space said: “Our usual dementia training session lasts between 45 minutes and an hour but we decided to deliver an extended 90-minute version for Kirklees Police.

“We talked about being sensitive to the needs of a person with dementia who may have become disorientated when out and about, supporting and signposting the families of a person with dementia who has become lost and how to handle people with dementia who are suffering from paranoia or delusions.”

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates that one in every 14 of the population aged 65 and over has dementia. It also estimates that this figure will increase by 40 per cent over the next 12 years.

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