City of Rockingham to subsidise Safe & Found WA registration

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Aaron KirbySound Telegraph
Acting Senior Sergeant Gary Hughes, Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin and Inspector Steve Scott.
Camera IconActing Senior Sergeant Gary Hughes, Rockingham mayor Deb Hamblin and Inspector Steve Scott. Credit: City of Rockingham/Supplied

The City of Rockingham is making it easier for residents to register with WA Police and Medic Alert’s new ground-breaking initiative, Safe & Found WA.

Safe & Found WA is designed to help police quickly find missing vulnerable people, many of whom are living with dementia, autism or cognitive impairment, and return them to loved ones safely.

It provides them with information agreed ahead of time about a missing person, including former home or work addresses, habits, behaviours and locations where a person may have wandered previously.

People who sign up can be reimbursed the initial $99 registration fee through the city’s Safety Subsidy, which is one of three subsidies offered in the Low-Income Subsidy Scheme.

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Mayor Deb Hamblin said the city was committed to removing barriers for residents to access essential support services.

“Safe & Found WA is a vital tool that can help police locate missing people quickly and the city is proud to collaborate with WA Police and Medic Alert to support this important initiative,” she said.

“The City of Rockingham is home to approximately 21,000 people aged over 60. This number will continue to grow in the coming years and it’s vital a range of support services are accessible to them to ensure they can live as safely and securely as possible.

“By making the initiative eligible for funding support through the Safety Subsidy, the city is fulfilling a key element of its Seniors Strategy, which is to assist residents to age in place.

“Improving the safety of people with a cognitive impairment can help them and their loved ones feel more confident to remain at home and out of long term care.”

Inspector Steve Scott from the WA Police emergency management and specialist support division said Safe & Found had already been used successfully several times.

“Launched by the Minister for Police in August 2021, Safe & Found has been used successfully on seven occasions locating vulnerable missing persons rapidly and returning them home safely,” he said.

“The results were achieved as police had immediate access to the information we required.

“One search was resolved by posting a recent photo of the missing person to the WA Police Facebook page and within 30 minutes a member of the public had located him.

“Another member was identified via her Safe & Found bracelet before she was even reported as missing.”

The City of Rockingham is the second local government to subsidise membership for Safe & Found WA.

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