Volunteer helpers talk about work on searches

VOLUNTEERS who helped to search for a missing Aldwick woman spoke about their work to residents.

Two members of the West Division Neighbourhood Watch search team gave an insight at the Aldwick annual electors’ meeting into their roles.

The helpers assist the police in trying to locate people whose absence is causing alarm, or to trace suspect goods.

One of their controllers, Tim Holland, said the search for Sandra Hall after she went missing from her home on Gunwin Court aged 56 on February 3 was among the more recent searches.

“We were involved in that search very closely,” he told last Thursday’s meeting. “We spent three weekends and several weekdays putting together groups of searches in designated areas that were of interest to 
the police.

“We covered acres of land on those searches. Our particular forte is that we can cover large tracts of land – woodland, forest, open land, marsh land and farmland.

“We can do that very economically for the police.”

The body of Mrs Hall was eventually found by a walker in a copse just outside Walberton exactly a month after she went missing.

The search team was formed after the case of abducted schoolgirl Sarah Payne in July 2000 showed the need for an organised group able to scour sites.

Of the team’s 100 members, 15-20 will comprise a typical search group.