Friday, 17 August 2012

SEBEV get involved

Who are SEBEV?  When this voluntary organisation was formed in 1980 those five letters stood for "South East Berkshire Emergency Volunteers".  However that full title was dropped in 1994 to be replaced by "SEBEV Search and Rescue" which better reflected its primary role.  Their informative website is here:

By July 2003 it was a well established organisation but whether it then had all the kit displayed on their website is something I don't know.   We learn that Thames Valley Police would quite frequently make use of their expertise ... this of course makes perfect sense - to take advantage of a voluntary but professional organisation who knew how to do the job and who were always on call.  Not too far from where I live is Dartmoor and there is a similar rescue group whose main area of interest is obviously Dartmoor.  Their function is not dissimilar to that of SEBEVFortunately there are many organisations in this country ready and able to assist in search and rescue without being a burden to the taxpayer.

On the face of it requesting the involvement of SEBEV in searching for Dr Kelly seemed an eminently sensible thing to do.  So far as the public narrative is concerned only two members of the group got called out, these were Paul Chapman and Louise Holmes, Louise having a search dog called Brock who possessed a very good nose.

We now know that the missing person search became a critical incident at 03.44 and so it seems surprising that more members of SEBEV weren't called out to assist.  That SEBEV weren't contacted earlier is a little odd but it was the middle of the night and we don't know how far Mr Chapman's controller Neil Knight had to travel to get to Abingdon police station. 

Was the decision to call out Chapman and Holmes determined by the fact that the latter had a trained search dog.  This is what we are invited to assume.  Using a trained dog to search woodland looks sensible to me.  What needs explaining though is why did the police wait for the arrival of SEBEV members before searching the wood at Harrowdown Hill.  At about twenty to five that morning a dog had been put through the home of Mrs Kelly.  Once Harrowdown Hill had been declared an area of interest wouldn't it have been sensible to get the police dog unit there to search?

At the Inquiry ACC Page said:

My concerns were that Dr Kelly had gone out for a walk, perhaps become ill, perhaps had an
accident befall him, possibly had been abducted against his will, possibly was being detained. There were
a whole range of options that I was trying to consider.

Bearing in mind these different scenarios it seems particularly odd to me that two civilian volunteers were sent out unaccompanied.  The possibility that it was known that the dead corpse of Dr Kelly would be found in that wood cannot be ignored.  Was it deemed desirable that Dr Kelly be found by civilians rather than the police?  I don't have the answer to that question.

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