Police praise Kedington community for ‘amazing efforts’

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The ‘amazing efforts’ of people in Kedington has been praised by police after their assistance helped track down a missing man.

Police began a search for 79-year-old David Blanks after he was reported missing on Sunday evening, having last been seen at 4.40pm.

Mr Blanks has dementia and the police were concerned for his welfare so issued an appeal for help in finding him.

They also called out the search helicopter to assist in the hunt and soon word spread via the Kedington Community Facebook page, leading to a surge of people getting out to look for him.

Mr Blanks was eventually found by a member of the public at 8.40pm at Cotton Hall, but the part played by villagers in his being located received praise from Haverhill Police with a Tweet that said: “Just for clarity this person has been located due to the amazing efforts of #Kedington locals!!”

The officer on duty that evening, PC Rowan Saunders, said he posted the Tweet as he thought the community’s response was ‘such a good news story.’

He added: “The dog unit was out and about and he (the officer) said he was with a group of ten members of the public who were assisting him.

“We have missing person reports all the time, it’s quite a regular thing.

“I think it’s safe to say that the public assistance with this one was a bit more than usual.

“The police helicopter was up in the air for one-and-a-half hours and nearly all the police officers from the station were out and about looking for him.

“I’m quite new to Haverhill (station) and its good to know that people will assist us in the Haverhill area.

“I think, personally, the story here is the public assistance to the police. When these things happen they are the vital key, it’s them that solve the mysteries of where people are when they go missing.

“The public have more eyes than we do.”

One comment on the Kedington Facebook page by Nick Rutter summed up the community’s involvement,

He said: “Can I just say what amazing community spirit we witnessed today.

“The amount of people we saw out and about looking for the gentleman (who has now been found) was amazing.

“Give yourself a pat on the back Kedington.”