Specialist search officers from Cleveland Police hailed after leading more than 500 operations

Specialist officers have been hailed after conducting hundreds of searches vital to the operation of Cleveland Police.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 18:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 18:14 pm
Officers involved in a Cleveland Police search operation.

Cleveland Police’s specially trained search advisers have led over five hundred searches in the past five years.

Police Search Advisers, or PolSAs, are highly trained experts in planning, directing and executing police search activity.

They coordinate searches for missing and vulnerable people, plan for VIP visits to the area and use search techniques in investigations ranging from person, vehicle and house searches; to complex large scale open land searches in support of major crime investigations.

Cleveland Police currently has eight PolSA and 52 Licensed Search Officers who are all trained and accredited to national standards in search techniques.

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The four-week intensive PolSA training course is one of the most challenging in policing and takes place at the Police National Search Centre.

Cleveland Police’s specialist search officers have helped with some of the UK’s most critical searches, including the April Jones murder investigation and preparations for the 2012 Olympics.

Some of the most recent high profile searches in Cleveland include the Naheed Khan investigation and the search for missing Paul Kerrison.

Sergeant Ian Turnbull, who has been a PolSA for seven years said: “Being a PolSA is a hugely rewarding yet challenging role.

“There’s a real weight of responsibility in what we do to protect people; whether it is an immediate risk to a person suffering from suicidal thoughts or a longer term goal to help investigation teams to gather evidence. Each PolSA knows the importance of getting a successful outcome and saving lives.

“Searches can be extremely sensitive and some can be very difficult, but as a PolSA I know that we’re doing everything we possibly can and using the resources available to us to protect the public.”