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

07:26 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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12 comments

  • The clue for some of you lame brains is at the bottom. He's got a hospital appointment coming up for an operation. Makes sense that his daughter was worried about him. Haters are only hating because he's UKIP

    Report this comment

    richard jermy

    Friday, January 29, 2016

  • Free meals? They were done away with after the Chomping Chenery scandal. Cllr Crawford is one of the most committed councillors and likeable characters you could hope to meet, and Thetford is lucky to have him representing them. If only they all had his level of commitment to the role.

    Report this comment

    Katie1

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • I thought it was flying a paper plane!

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • For goodness sake, they'd have saved all that police time had they looked at the statue...which is clearly trying to communicate the councillor's whereabouts.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • I'm an adult and I would very much hope the police would be looking for me if I went missing without explanation for two days. This gentleman could have been lying trapped in a crashed car somewhere for all anyone knew. I suspect if he was a healthy, not vulnerable, 18 year old with a habit of wandering from time to time, the police would have quite rightly not have put in quite so much effort to find him. But considering Mr Crawfords age and a disappearance obviously being out of character I would say in this case the police response was perfectly correct and I'm pleased to see they took the matter seriously. I would say though that perhaps next time he "disappears" a few "where are you?" SMS text messages from his daughter might save a lot of worry and unnecessary use of police resources.

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • well said 'so-many-haters', seems some folk just like to find fault and criticise! And if others actually read the article it is clear that he hadn't been missing for just an hour when the Police started looking, obviously if that was the case they wouldn't have) his daughter had been trying for 2 days to get hold of him. I'm glad that he has family that care and that we have a Police force that also care, well done to all.

    Report this comment

    Linda Sinclair

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • does seem odd that the police started looking for a missing adult after such a short period of time, what are we not being told here?

    Report this comment

    ted

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • On three Councils? Must be a glutton for punishment. And possess an extremely high boredom threshold.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • I thought the police waited far longer than an hour to start searching for someone allegedly missing.

    Report this comment

    JanieH

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Yah, John. Completely ignore all the work he's doing and focus instead on his physical characteristics, which have absolutely nothing to do with how he does his job. Keep them coming.

    Report this comment

    So_Many_Haters!

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Total waste of police resources. The family should be charged for wasting police time. An adult man has a busy couple of days...bad enough that someone thought they needed to call the police but is it really news?

    Report this comment

    Rushallchap2

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • Eating the free meals provided looking at what looks like an obese unhealthy man.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Thursday, January 28, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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