In August 2020 Gloucestershire Constabulary was the focus of hit TV series, Reported Missing.

The primetime BBC One documentary series followed our officers in the search for missing people in Gloucestershire.

It also highlighted the complex and challenging work which goes on behind the scenes, as well as the emotional and sensitive journeys for those involved in each case.

The three hour-long episodes also explored some of the reasons behind why people go missing, including dementia, mental health issues, homelessness and drug addiction.

Following on from the series, we’ve compiled the information below on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from going missing.

If you missed the series, you can catch up on BBC iPlayer here.

Top three things

Want to know how you can help us with future searches? Here are the top three things you can do:

  1. Share our appeals on social media – if you watched the series, you know the information we receive can be lifesaving!
  2. Download What3Words - a free lifesaving app that can help us locate you in an emergency situation if you don’t know where you are. Please see below for more information
  3. Complete a Herbert Protocol - if you’re caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Please see below for more information.

Resources

What3Words

Apple. Fortunate. Soak.

These may sound like three random words (and they are) but this is actually the location of Gloucestershire Police Headquarters according to What3Words.

What3Words is a lifesaving app that can help us locate you in an emergency situation if you don’t know where you are. The app works by dividing the globe into 3m x 3m squares and gives each one a unique 3 word address.

The app has been used in incidents in Gloucestershire to location missing and/or vulnerable people who do not know where they are.

The app is free to download for both iOS and Android, or by browser, and works offline making it ideal for use in areas with an unreliable data connection.

For more information: What3Words

Herbert Protocol

If you watched the first episode of Reported Missing, you’ll know that caring for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging. So planning ahead to keep them safe is really important. PC Mark Evans, who featured in the first episode, explains how the Herbert Protocol will enable you to do just that.

For more information or to download a copy of the Herbert Protocol, please click here.

Support services for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

The first episode showed the challenges faced by people living with dementia or Alzheimer's disease as well as their families and carers. However there are local support and care services in Gloucestershire that can help:

Alzheimer’s Society - the UK’s leading dementia charity who campaign for change, fund research to find a cure and support people living with dementia today. In Gloucestershire, the charity is based at Agricultural House in Gloucester. To find out how they can help you please visit their website, Facebook or call 01452 525222.

Gloucestershire Dementia Action Alliance (Countywide) - the Dementia Friendly Gloucester Forum aims to make sure that everyone from within Gloucester living with dementia is respected and enabled to continue to enjoy living their lives in their own community as well as possible for as long as possible. The group actively work in partnership across the community to develop practical actions to support those living with dementia and those who care for them. For more information please visit their website or Facebook.

Managing Memory - supports people who are worried about memory, people with dementia and carers of people with dementia, in Gloucestershire. For more information please visit their website, call 0800 694 8800 or email managingmemory@ghc.nhs.uk.

Support services for those living with mental health issues

Do you suffer with mental health issues? If you watched Reported Missing, you will have seen that you're not alone. In fact, one in four of us will experience a mental health issue of some kind each year.

This can range from stress and anxiety to bi-polar, schizophrenia or feeling suicidal. But you don't have to struggle with difficult feelings alone. Help is available.

If you're concerned about yourself or a loved one, these helplines and support groups can offer expert advice to you right now:

Samaritans - their vision is that fewer people die by suicide. They’re there, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope and who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure. For more information please visit their website, email jo@samaritans.org or call for free 116 123.

Young Minds - the UK's leading charity fighting for children and young people's mental health. They aim to make sure all young people get the best possible mental health support. For more information please visit their website. If you require urgent help text YM 85258. Parents can also call the parents helpline on 0808 802 5544

Stay Alive app - a pocket suicide prevention resource, packed full of useful information to help you stay safe. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide. For more information please visit their website.

Mental Health Experience Led Opportunities support group - MHELO is an independent peer support network of people in Gloucestershire who have had, or are experiencing mental health difficulties. For more information please visit their Facebook page here.

Community Advice, Links & Mental Health Support Service - CALMHS supports people who are experiencing moderate to severe mental ill-health. The service can be tailored to help support build on strengths and to make a positive change. For more information please visit their website or call 0345 8638323.

Gloucestershire Self-harm Helpline - a non-judgemental listening support and information to those who self-harm, are considering self-harm and those who support them (carers, parents, friends and professionals). Helpline available 5pm to 10pm every day. For more information please visit their website, call 0808 801 0606 (5pm-10pm) or text 07537410022.

Independence Trust - support for individuals, families and communities with concerns about mental health, alcohol or drugs. For more information please visit their website or call 0345 863 8323.

Sunflowers Suicide Support - raising suicide prevention awareness and supporting families bereaved by suicide in Gloucestershire. For more information please visit their website, email info@sunflowerssuicidesupport.org.uk or call 07542 527888.

Homelessness

We understand the longer someone sleeps rough the greater the risk they will become trapped on the streets and vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime.

That's why we work closely alongside colleagues from local authorities, support agencies and outreach services to support homeless people in Gloucestershire.

But if you’ve noticed someone sleeping rough in Gloucestershire, you can make a positive change to their life by connecting them to local support services.

StreetLink is a referral service enables members of the public to act when they see someone sleeping rough by sending an alert to StreetLink via their app or website.

All you need to do is send details about the rough sleeper’s location and general appearance. This information is then sent to the correct, independent local homelessness outreach team, so they can locate the individual and connect them to support services.

StreetLink also finds out what has happened as a result of your alert and, if requested, can provide you with an update so you'll be able to know what impact you've had.

For more information, please visit their website.