Why did it take Essex Police five hours to see if vulnerable missing teen was still alive?
Date posted: 31-08-2012
ESSEX Police has defended its decision to take five hours before seeing for themselves if a vulnerable missing teen was still alive and well.
On Monday, the police had issued a press release that Herne Bay teen Scarlett Goobie, (15) had been missing since August 16th.
Scarlett was last seen at Herne Bay railway station. The press release indicated that she might be in the South Essex area.
A YourThurrock reader saw the story on Wednesday at approx 11am and suspected that Scarlett may be staying at their house.
The person rang both Essex and Kent Police on the 101 number.
But it wasn’t until approx 4.30 pm that a police officer attended at the Orsett address to confirm in person that it was Scarlett at the house and to see in person that she was alive and well.
An Essex Police spokesman said: “We were aware that there was information that Scarlett may have been at a residential property in Orsett late on Wednesday morning.
“We were only available to see her for ourselves at teatime as we were busy dealing with other incidents. The only concern surrounding Scarlett was her age. It was always likely that she would have been with friends and not in any harm or danger. However, had we received information that she posed a threat to anyone or herself or indeed was herself in a vulnerable situation, then we would have attended sooner.”
A spokesperson for Kent Police said: “One of the lines of enquiry received by officers, who received many other pieces of information and possible sightings, was regarding a residential property in Essex.
“There was no immediate danger or threat to the girl’s safety and, once an officer from Essex Police became available, they visited the property to follow up that particular line of enquiry.
“Scarlett was returned to her home in Herne Bay that same day.”
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