Missing Children Publication Hub
Search and Rescue
Organization: Kent Search and Rescue
Published In: 2015
Country: United Kingdom
Research-informed search strategies- behaviour patterns of vulnerable missing people in lowland areas
(by Paul Lewis and Dr Pauline Franklin )
When a vulnerable person goes missing, development of an effective search strategy is essential to ensure that search teams are deployed rapidly to locations where that particular person is most likely to be found. This requires evidence-based practice and understanding of the behaviour patterns associated with missing people from different categories. Currently, search strategies of Lowland (ALSAR) teams are primarily informed by Grampian Statistics (Gibb and Woolnough, 2007), The U.K. Missing Person Behaviour Study (CSR, 2011) and International Search & Rescue Incident Database (ISRID). Whilst useful, limitations exist in relation to lowland search. The findings of the two former are derived from missing people data in mountain rescue areas, whilst the latter assumes that behaviour will be consistent across different eco-domains (Perkins, 2012).
This gap in knowledge specific to lowland search is addressed by KSAR. Using data extracted from 677 searches, over a 15 year period KSAR has analysed information on categories of missing persons, search environment, distance from last known point, location found and situation when found. This has led to the development of an interactive website, open for all UK lowland teams to both access and input data, providing an up-to-date resource to inform search planning. We summarise the findings of this study, explore the implications for search planning and present the website, making it available for all UK ALSAR teams.
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