Firstly, I would like to thank your correspondent Sue McAdam for highlighting the value of the “Estou Aqui” (I’m Here!) bracelet, which was an initiative of the Ministry of Internal Administration and administered by the Public Security Police (PSP).
By way of background, this scheme was originally introduced to help reunite children who become detached from their parents/guardians, for example in crowded areas or beaches. Anyone finding the child and checking the bracelet can then call the emergency number with the child’s details and the parents are contacted by the police. The fact that it is free of charge, administered by police and is simple to request and collect, makes the “bracelet” system extremely successful.
Literally hundreds of thousands of children have used this since its introduction.
It is designed for children from two to 10 years old, but bracelets for children under the age of two may exceptionally be available if they are fully capable of walking independently.
Subsequently, this scheme was expanded for those people who, due to age or disease, may become disoriented or unconscious in public areas – including those suffering from dementia and, as your correspondent points out, epilepsy. The programme aims to ensure the safety of all users on public roads, and to promote a speedy reunion with the previously indicated family member or acquaintance.
Safe Communities has promoted this with the PSP at various displays/exhibitions and through our website and Facebook page. This bracelet can be ordered online and collected at the nearest PSP station of your choosing. In some cases where missing persons suffering from disorientation have gone missing and thankfully found, we have recommended the use of the bracelet.
It is good to hear the response from users as in Sue’s case giving her “a feeling of confidence should she be alone in public”.
More details about the scheme for both children and adults can be downloaded here: estouaqui.mai.gov.pt
David Thomas President,
Safe Communities Portugal