TIM DREW: The year’s first major exercise for search teams

MORE than 100 volunteers took part in this year’s first major exercise undertaken by the three Sussex Neighbourhood Watch Search Teams, which was also attended by the Sussex Search and Rescue and police dog teams.

I am glad to report that we missed nothing, so the police were pleased!

It was the first time in a major exercise that GPS navigation devices were used by all the team leaders.

Once parameters are set, these devices make it easier to determine the number of sweeps required, and they can also identify woodland footpaths which would otherwise go unnoticed because they are covered in fallen leaves.

It was also the first time that Search Team members found themselves working as part of a team comprising volunteers from areas other than their own.

The point of this is that training needs to be standardised across all the teams, so that members will be best positioned to respond to any given situation.

n Two surgeries will be held today, hosted respectively by PCSO Ros Tite (Castle) in Boxgrove Parade, The Strand, Goring, and by PCSO Emma Crane at the Beach Office in Marine Parade, both taking place between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. PCSO Shauna Bowen’s surgery at Findon Valley Library, in Lime Tree Avenue, Findon Valley, will take place between 11.30am 12.30pm tomorrow.

On Tuesday, January 28, surgeries will be held by PCSO Gary Morgan (Northbrook) at the Durrington Community Centre, between 10am and 11am, and by PCSO Graeme Foster between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, at the East Worthing Community Centre in Pages Lane, East Worthing. The latter will be followed by the Selden Neighbourhood Panel Meeting, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

The Heene Neighbourhood Panel will meet that same evening, in Room 5 of Heene Community Centre, from 7pm to 8pm.

On Thursday, January 30, PCSO Elaine Tullett (Marine) will hold her surgery at the Coffee Shop, Shaftesbury Avenue, with PCSO Ben Cruise’s at West Worthing Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring, both from 11am to noon.