POLICE in West Mercia and Warwickshire are being given extra training and resources to help support people with dementia.

As part of this week’s Dementia Awareness Week, both forces have signed up to the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Alliance.

Officers and staff are being encouraged to pledge to support people with condition by signing up as Dementia Friends and the forces are developing an electronic iCard, providing information on the symptoms of the disease, practical tips for dealing with people suffering with it and guidance on how to handle incidents involving people with dementia.

Inspector Emma Wright is leading the campaign and said it was important people with dementia got the support they needed.

“Locally we are working with the Alzheimer’s Society to create opportunities for a number of our staff to become trained as dementia champions,” she said.

“Our aim is to train staff in public facing roles such as Safer Neighbourhood Teams who are happy to promote understanding and run awareness sessions within the communities they serve.

“We are also aiming to train staff from other departments such as Protecting Vulnerable People and Learning and Development, who will be happy to promote understanding and run awareness sessions within the organisation to recruit more colleagues as Dementia Friends.

“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we will also be launching our Dementia Action Plan, to ensure our working processes with partner agencies around people affected by dementia are fit for purpose.

“This is so we can assist people in getting the support they need, or enabling them to provide support to others.”

More than 800,000 people in the UK suffer with dementia, with this figure expected to hit one million by 2021.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Action Alliance coordinator for the West Midlands Jeevan Jones said he was pleased the two forces had signed up.

“Police officers perform a vital role in the community and their action plan will ensure that people living with dementia are protected and supported, helping us achieve our vision of more dementia friendly communities in across England,” he said.

For more information on becoming a Dementia Friend visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk.

The full Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Dementia Action plan can be found at www.dementiaaction.org.uk/members_and_action_plans/1912-warwickshire_police_and_west_mercia_police.