Massive police search for missing man on Englefield Green

Posted by Russell Butt

Concern for a missing person prompted a massive police search in Englefield Green tonight (November 17).

Nineteen police cars, four police vans - including a specialist search and rescue unit, two dog handling units and two police helicopters were called in to aid with the search of woodland around the village green for an Ascot man in his mid-fifties police say had been missing since Monday afternoon.

The search, which was a combined effort between officers from Thames Valley Police and Surrey Police, began around 4.30pm following a call from one of man's friends who was concerned for his safety and continued well into the evening.

The police closed off Cricketer's Lane while the search was undertaken, but the huge police presence on the green attracted a lot of attention from local residents, many of whom said they had never seen anything like it. Richard Alexander, of Castle Hill Farm, near where the police vehicles were all parked, said: "I have lived here 25 years and I have never seen so much police activity here.

"I got told by a police officer that it was someone 'important' they were looking for. We joked that it might be Prince Charles."

Mr Alexander's house is also next door to the house of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani, one of the richest men in the World, though Mr Alexander believed he is not in the country at the moment.

However Sergeant Matthew Lloyd of Thames Valley Police said that this was not the case.

"If it is someone famous, no one has told me, but we can't say who it is" he said. "This response is normal for someone we believe is a high risk of causing danger to themselves.

"I would like to reassure residents though that there is nothing sinister going on, it looks much worse than it is. It's getting dark and getting cold and we are very concerned for this man's safety."

Sgt Lloyd added that Thames Valley Police officers had been in communication with and monitoring the man since he went missing on Monday afternoon, but stepped up their concern late on Tuesday afternoon following the communications with the man's friend.

The Thames Valley Police helicopter was first called to search the area around 4.30pm, before the Surrey Police helicopter took over the search after dark. It circled continuously around the village green until 7pm before searching the area near the old Brunel University campus, north of the village green, before leaving the scene around 7.20pm.

Foot patrols were also seen down in the village searching the footpath from St Jude's Road down to Blays Lane.

No comments: