A new scheme to help police deal with emergencies involving people with additional learning needs (ALN) has been launched.
Trinity Fields School, which is based in Ystrad Mynach and caters for ALN pupils, has worked closely with Gwent Police as part of ‘The Trinity Protocol’.
The scheme will allow family members and carers to register someone with ALN to Gwent Police.
If a registered ALN person contacts the police in an emergency, officers will be able to access information about them, which could help break down communication barriers.
The Trinity Protocol can also be used if an ALN person is missing, involved in a crime or is the victim of a crime. Officers will have the relevant information to adapt their approach if, for example, they might have difficulties communicating or might react negatively to lights or sirens.
Gary Powell, a teaching assistant at Trinity Fields School who worked on the project, said: “PCSO Thomas Bingham-Vick came to me with the idea of creating the Trinity Protocol after his experience of working at our school.
“Class Teacher Sian Harris and I shared our knowledge and experiences of working at Trinity Fields School. We were able to provide some officers from Gwent Police training and were able to share our experiences of young people who have previously gone missing.”
Headteacher Ian Elliott MBE encouraged parents and carers to sign up to the scheme and said: “(I) hope that they would never need to use it, but it would be there just in case.”
Gwent Police’s deputy chief constable, Amanda Blakeman, is the national lead for disability in policing. She said: “This initiative is designed to provide our officers with vital information as quickly as possible, if they encounter any call for service involving a person with ALN.
“It is important to add that any member of our communities – parents, carers or individuals with ALN themselves – can sign up for the Trinity Protocol.
“With knowledge of additional needs becoming so important in an inclusive society, it is important that we can support everyone with the respect that they deserve within our community, especially at a time when our services are needed.”