UK police forces received around 327,000 missing person reports in 2010-11 (National Policing Improvement Agency, 2011: 10). [Please note that the number of reports of missing incidents does not equate to the number of people going missing, as individuals may be reported missing to the police on more than one occasion.]
When someone goes missing, the police and emergency services refer to the local SAR teams in order to provide specialist search support. We only deploy if requested to do so by the Police.
In the words of one of our volunteers: “I volunteered for OxSAR originally as I wanted to spend more time outdoors and do something different from my day job. I stayed with OxSAR when I realised I could provide meaningful support to family and their friends in the local community; I could work with interesting people from different walks of life who could teach me new and reinforce existing skills from first aid to search management to being a boat cox; I enjoy the rush of adrenaline on a callout at any time of day or night; and finally I am proud how and what we as a team have and continue to achieve.”
We are a registered charity (number 1144058) and are part of ALSAR, the UK body coordinating the individual Lowland Rescue teams. We provide support to the emergency services alongside Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, RNLI and others.
Our members come from all walks of life: some are people with office jobs, some are teachers, some are tradesmen. What we all have in common is the will to help others and a love of the outdoors (remember, there is no thing such as bad weather, only bad clothing!).
What happens on a search exercise (written by one of our members).