Purple Alert Frequently Asked Questions
The person I care for is missing. What should I do?
Phone 999 immediately, then raise a Purple Alert. More information and advice on what to do before, during and after a missing occurrence can be found on our Toolkits.
Why is Purple Alert only for missing people with dementia?
Purple Alert is a free service offered, monitored and supported by Alzheimer Scotland. Alzheimer Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland offering support for people affected by dementia. Multiple alerts for young people, vulnerable adults, pets etc. would be difficult to manage and outwith Alzheimer Scotland’s remit.
How safe is my data?
What about Privacy?
What about consent?
Consent must be obtained from the person with dementia before their personal information can be shared through the app. The rights and wishes of the person with dementia are paramount and their personal information should not be shared without their consent. However, in some instances, where the benefits can be clearly shown and there is power of attorney or legal guardianship in place, it may be possible to go ahead. Purple Alert consent diagram.
Who will see my personal information?
When you sign up to the app, all your details are completely private.
A missing person profile can only be viewed by people logged onto the app and will only be visible for the length of time the alert is active.
Your details as a carer will only be visible when the person you care for is missing and anyone in the Purple Alert community will be able to phone you if they saw the missing person.
Who is monitoring the app against misuse?
Alzheimer Scotland will oversee this and take action as necessary to remove users who do not adhere to the terms and conditions. Where appropriate, Police Scotland will be notified of misuse and action will be taken as required.
Is the app putting vulnerable people more at risk?
There are a number of steps and safeguards before anyone can view a missing person alert. These include entering personal profile information, uploading a profile photo, and agreeing to terms and conditions of use. These act as a significant deterrent and can be used to help trace anyone misusing the app. There is also a two-step email verification procedure to ensure every profile corresponds to a verified email address.
What happens if the missing person is approached by a malicious user?
We have taken advice from Police Scotland and they anticipate that the potential for misuse of this app is very unlikely. The ratio of responsible users to potentially malicious users is minimal and should mitigate the risk of criminal activity. However any unacceptable activity will be treated as serious and the user will be removed from the app and referred to Police Scotland.
Do I have to keep the app open or running in the background to get notifications?
No, the app will notify you regardless, if someone is missing within 20 miles from your postcode.
Can I still use the old app?
The old app is no longer supported by Alzheimer Scotland. You can download the new app here.