Partnership Post – The Police
We’re showcasing some of our partner agencies in search and rescue. When we get a call-out, many other colleagues from different organistions can also be involved. Some are paid, and some, like us, are volunteers.
In a vast majority of cases the team are called out by Devon & Cornwall Police to assist in the search for missing people from a variety of backgrounds. A missing person could be someone living with dementia who had left home, someone with mental ill-health or an injured walker lost on the moors in poor weather.
The Police will coordinate the search and speak to family and friends to build a profile of the missing person. Once a series of checks (for example – home, phone, hospital) have been made a search strategy is devised and the team may be called out if the search areas identified cover woodland, parkland, open areas or moorland. The team can also run urban searches, but these are more often initially covered by Police officers.
Team Search Managers are then contacted by the Police via a text alert system and will liaise with a Police LPSM (Lost Person Search Manager) to identify key tasks for the team. Once these are agreed the team are called out and text alerts will be going off across the west of the Duchy. Members will then RV at a single location and deploy out into search areas, whether as small foot teams, bank search teams, rope teams or working with MRSDE (Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England) dog handlers.
The Police also have dog teams of their own. The general purpose dogs can help to ground track and scent, indicating the direction of travel. There is also a dedicated Police Drones team within the force, as well as the National Police Air Service HQ helicopters. Both can help to locate missing people in open areas, with the additional help of heat detection.
The Police also have a dedicated team of Special Constables who we may work alongside on call-outs. Like us, they give up their time for free to support the community.