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Thetford councillor reported missing to police - but he’s in two days of meetings

PUBLISHED: 07:26 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 16:39 28 January 2016

Scenes from the Norfolk County Council Election count at Memorial Hall in Dereham for the Breckland Area - Thetford East UKIP winning candidate Denis Crawford. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the Norfolk County Council Election count at Memorial Hall in Dereham for the Breckland Area - Thetford East UKIP winning candidate Denis Crawford. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

For jaded voters, the work ethic of some of their elected representatives has occasionally been called into question.

Kings House, where Tuesday's town council meeting was held. Picture: Sonya DuncanKings House, where Tuesday's town council meeting was held. Picture: Sonya Duncan

But one Norfolk councillor seems to have put himself well and truly beyond reproach.

Denis Crawford, who sits on Norfolk County, Breckland and Thetford Town councils, was so busy attending various meetings during a hectic two-day schedule that his concerned family reported him missing to police.

After searching his flat, officers were eventually able to track him down... at another council meeting.

Mr Crawford, a UKIP representative, had been involved in series of back-to-back meetings over Monday, leaving the house just after 7am and returning at 10pm.

Denis Crawford’s hectic schedule

Monday, January 25

7.10am - Sets off from Thetford for County Hall, Norwich

10am - Takes part in Adult Social Care Committee meeting

4pm - Meeting ends

5pm - Attends Breckland Council Local Plan consultation event in Thetford

7pm - Attends Redcastle Action Group meeting

10pm - Gets home

Tuesday, January 26

7.10am - Back to County Hall

10am - Takes part in Children’s Services Committee meeting

4pm - Meeting ends

6pm - Attends UKIP group meeting in Thetford

7pm - Attends Thetford Town Council full council

7.10pm - Neighbour reports him missing to police

8.05pm - Tracked down by Thetford Police at meeting

He was off again shortly after 7am the following morning, into another gruelling schedule of meetings.

During this period, Mr Crawford’s daughter had been trying to get in touch with her father and, alarmed at her failure to do so, reported him missing.

Two PCSOs eventually tracked him down on Tuesday evening to a meeting of Thetford Town Council. They interrupted proceedings, asking for Mr Crawford.

He returned five minutes later, explaining to puzzled colleagues what the officers had wanted.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “My neighbour and daughter were worried I had gone missing after searching my flat, so they called the police.

“Two officers came to my flat and searched it, and two more came to the meeting. I did apologise for so 
much manpower being put into the search. It’s nice that people care though.”

Mr Crawford’s crammed schedule had seen him take in two six hour meetings at Norfolk County Council on Monday and Tuesday. He 
also attended a Local Plan consultation event for Breckland Council in Thetford and a residents’ meeting on the Redcastle 
Furze estate. On Tuesday night 
he took part in a UKIP group meeting, before heading for town council.

His mobile phone had been switched off during meetings, he said, and he had no voicemails raising concern for his 
whereabouts.

He said he may have had voicemails on his landline at his St Michael’s Close home, but had not checked them

“It’s my own fault for being on three councils,” he added.

Mr Crawford’s busy schedule continued yesterday, when he attended hospital for an out patients operation – and planned to attend a residents’ meeting in the evening.

Do you have a story about your council? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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