Police praise for tracking down missing woman

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DETERMINED police officers in Hucknall have been praised for their dedicated investigative work in tracking down a pensioner who went missing from her home for a fortnight.

June Watson-Parkinson, of Hucknall, was found safe and well at St Mary’s Hospital in Newport on the Isle Of Wight on Thursday April 19.

Hucknall officers had launched a major appeal to find the 67-year-old, with stories in the Dispatch and on the Dispatch website.

Miss Watson-Parkinson, who has medical problems, caught a tram from Hucknall on Thursday April 5 and then boarded a train from Nottingham to London. She was spotted by CCTV cameras in the capital at St Pancras train station.

A key role in the investigation was played by police community support officer (PCSO) Kat Hancocks, who trawled through address books belonging to Miss Watson-Parkinson and called hospitals across the country.

Hucknall’s police chief, Insp Nick Butler, said: “There was a concerted effort by my officers to trace Miss Watson-Parkinson — from the local neighbourhood team to response officers and CID. As with all vulnerable people who go missing from home, they really did go the extra mile to find her.”

PCSO Hancocks, who is six months’ pregnant with her third child, said: “I rang hundreds of people, starting with all those in her address book, followed by all the hospitals in the London area, twice, homeless refuges, crisis centres, coroners’ offices. I was on the phone constantly for about a week.

“Missing-person inquiries are not usually the sort of thing PCSOs deal with because we tend to be out on patrol. But because I am on light duties, due to the baby, I was the best person for the job.

“It’s incredible the amount of work that officers put in to finding missing people. I’m just so glad we found her.”