North Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search Team receives Award
23 May 2012
North Sussex Search Team - part of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search - is delighted to have received its first ever Award from Sussex Police. Committee representatives Derek Pratt, Peter Blake, Chris Pilgrim and Chris Chambers were invited to Slaugham Manor, the training and conference centre for Sussex Police staff, to be presented with a framed Certificate by Deputy Chief Constable Giles York, and receive his personal thanks.
In announcing the Operations Dept. Award, Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, Head of Operations Department, Sussex Police HQ, said: “The North Sussex Search Team was formed in 2006 and has now expanded to over 150 trained volunteers. The Team had been called out five times in the past 6 months, and three of those occasions were shared with other teams. In September 2011 the Team attended a large village to search for a missing 84 year old lady, and an extensive sweep was undertaken. This freed police resources to concentrate upon other enquiries, which eventually established that the lady was elsewhere, alive and well. On an earlier occasion, a search was conducted in very cold winter weather for a man who did not return home after an overnight fishing expedition on a riverbank. Working in partnership with the police helicopter and divers, the missing man was found but sadly deceased. This enabled early closure to be brought to his grieving family and friends.“
He continued: “Perhaps the most well known successful search was that undertaken for missing autistic Martin Shier at Burgess Hill in July 2007, who was found alive but dehydrated after 7 days in the open. This resulted in a feature on BBC TV's "Missing - Live" in May 2008. This Award is in recognition of the positive impact North Sussex Search Team has on the organisation, allowing it to deliver a local policing service to our communities with a high level of public reassurance and confidence.”
Various officers and dogs were also rewarded for their gallantry and hard work, for going beyond what was expected of them and in some cases exposing themselves to danger. It was interesting to hear first-hand what brave officers actually do on the job. It was the first time that the volunteers have been awarded, and Peter Bratton of the Sussex Police Authority also singled out the volunteers for special mention. Other volunteer recipients were SusSAR, Lowland Search Dogs Sussex and the East and West Neighbourhood Watch Search Teams.
John Wright, Chairman of the Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Federation, said in a message to Derek Pratt, Chairman of North Sussex Search Team: “My personal congratulations to you and your Team. On behalf of Sussex NHW Federation and its members throughout Sussex, the Award is well deserved for the hard work, commitment and high profile which has justifiably been recognised by Sussex Police.”
For more information about North Sussex Search Team please visit https://nsst.org.uk/