|The Search Team|
The Neighbourhood Watch Search Team was formed with the specific objective of making available to the Police a body of trained volunteers to assist them in the event of a person going missing. As a result of an appeal in the then Highdown Watch Newsletter an initial meeting was held in September 2000 at which some eighty volunteers were enrolled from the Worthing and Arun Associations. Members of the team have undergone basic training in search techniques and preservation of evidence, a prerequisite for any member to participate in searches and take part in regular exercises.
Subsequent to the extension of the divisional boundaries of Sussex Police, the team has since expanded to one hundred and fifty members to encompass the Adur, Bognor and Chichester NW Associations. These members have now been fully trained and are operational.
One of the two sixteen-seater minibuses used to transport team members to a search location. They were acquired thanks to a grant from Sussex Police in recognition of the contribution of their resource to the police effort in the West Downs Division.
The first being on 23rd February when 14 members turned out to search along Worthing seafront for an elderly missing man and his electric buggy. The man had gone missing from a nursing home nearby. I am pleased to say that the teams were stood down when it was established that the gentleman had checked himself into the Chatsworth Hotel.
On 20th March the team was called out to look for two missing teenagers in Durrington, who through medical conditions were considered to be very vulnerable. These two young lasses were found in the library in Bognor.
Three searches have been carried out under strict police guidelines for the missing 47 year old lady Elaine Taggart. (not much can be said because it is still an ongoing enquiry).
On May 25th 17 members turned out to look for a vulnerable missing lady from Loxwood in Sussex. The team was stood down after she had been sighted near to her home in Bolney.
Members of the Search Team at Sussex Police, West Downs Divisional HQ and at work.
Our total searches over the last 7 years now totals 42 searches, 777 members used and 4,548 hours spent on searches.
The Search Team is an initiative of the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Group who also fund the project with additional grants from Sussex Police. We would also like to thank the supporters of the mini buses. PTS (Plumbing Trade Supplies), AJ'S Taxis, R & I Stacey (Ironmongers), Thistle Alarms, Holland Alexander (Chartered Surveyors), The Lock Centre, Ricardo’s (Hairdressers), Bayprint
If you know of a group or club that would like a presentation on the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Search Team please contact Pam Davey or ring 01903 763082.
Page content last updated on 2011-12-12