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Neighbours urged to look out for each other in wintry weather, after vigilant call in Ryedale village

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Residents are being urged to keep an eye out for elderly and vulnerable neighbours in the wintry weather – after a community-spirited resident raised the alarm in Thornton-le-Dale.

Police received a call from a woman in the Ryedale village at about 10am on Thursday 30 November, raising concerns about the welfare of a neighbour in her 90s.

The resident had noticed the curtains were closed, and there was no answer to phoning or knocking on the door. She phoned North Yorkshire Police, as this was very out of character – as a result, the call was treated as a priority.

The nearest officers had been due to police protests related to hydraulic fracturing at Kirby Misperton – but were redeployed to other duties earlier in the day, due to the level of protest activity.

They were at the address within 20 minutes of the call. There was still no response to knocking, so officers forced entry into the house. The woman had collapsed, and was unconscious. An ambulance was called and she was taken to hospital for treatment.

As winter arrives, police are urging residents to offer help and support to any elderly and vulnerable people they know:

  • Drop in to see them and check if they are well at least once a week – and more often if the weather turns very cold.
  • Check if they are feeling well, particularly if they don’t seem their usual self or they look unwell.
  • If they are feeling ill, encourage them to visit their local pharmacist without delay – and give them a lift if you can.
  • Ask if you can collect any prescriptions they need or take them to their GP for any appointments.
  • Make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C to 21°C throughout the winter.
  • Ensure they are eating well and have a good supply of essential and store-cupboard food to keep them going – and offer to help them with shopping if they struggle with mobility.
  • Encourage them to get heating and cooking appliances safety checked.

Inspector Martin Dennison, of Ryedale Police, said: “It’s important for communities to come together and support people in need, particularly during the winter months. If you have a friend, neighbour or relative who is vulnerable, please do your bit to help by checking on them regularly and making sure they are safe and well.”

The majority of officers due to attend Kirby Misperton yesterday were able to be redeployed to neighbourhood policing duties and responding to incidents in other parts of the county. They also assisted with some of the 66 road traffic collisions and 86 other road-related matters dealt with by North Yorkshire Police on Thursday.

Last modified: December 1, 2017