TIM DREW: Recognised for their commitment

NO fewer than 16 long-serving members received recognition for their commitment at the annual general meeting of the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Search Team at Walberton Village Hall on Tuesday, July 16.

The ten-year awards were presented by Inspector Nick Bowman of the Bognor Neighbourhood Policing Team who, with Dr John Godfrey (Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex) and Deputy Chief Constable Giles York, was among the team’s guests at a well-attended occasion.

In his speech as chairman, Alan Murrell said that, in 2012 alone, the search teams collectively carried out around 436 person days’ worth of searching.

A number of missing persons, both alive and deceased, had been found – thereby affording speedy assistance for casualties, early closure for families and the avoidance of distressing and traumatic discoveries by members of the public.

The team is available at short notice and can relied upon to cover a wide area of ground (which may encompass difficult terrain) freeing up police resources to pursue other enquiries while ensuring a quick resolution at the lowest possible cost.

Many members are also trained in first aid (nine first aid certificates were presented by Dr John Godfrey) and possess a number of other specialist skills.

Delivering the evening’s presentation, Bob Greenall (coroner’s officer for Eastbourne) described the nature of his work and, in the process, the rationale behind some of the decisions reported; for example, a verdict of misadventure relates to instances where some activity such as tombstoning had taken place, while a narrative verdict is accorded where the circumstances of a death are recorded without attributing the cause to a named individual.

PSCO Elaine Tullett (Marine) will hold her surgery between 2 and 3pm on Thursday, August 1, at Worthing Leisure Centre and the next Neighbourhood Panel Meeting for Offington ward is to take place on Friday, August 2, at the Thomas A Becket pub in Rectory Road.