Thetford councillor in back-to-back meetings is reported missing to police

Denis Crawford, after being elected as Norfolk county councillor for Thetford West in the 2013 elections.
Denis Crawford, after being elected as Norfolk county councillor for Thetford West in the 2013 elections.
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A workaholic councillor found himself at the centre of a police manhunt after his daughter reported him missing - only to discover he had been in a string of busy meetings.

Denis Crawford, 65, who sits on three councils across Norfolk, had a marathon run of six meetings on Monday and Tuesday of last week leaving his family and friends curious about his whereabouts.

Police searched his flat, where he lives alone with his Yorkshire Terrier Ruby, and they eventually tracked down the wayward councillor at another council meeting.

Cllr Crawford said: “I’m diabetic and my daughter wanted to make sure I hadn’t expired, I guess.

“I’d been leaving the house at 7am and returning after 10pm so my neighbour hadn’t seen me.

“My mobile was switched off as well so my daughter, Maria, couldn’t track me down.”

After the police manhunt the UKIP councillor said: “I’m able to laugh about it now and I apologised to the police for all the manpower they put into my search.

“I went back into the meeting and made a point of order to the Mayor. They all had a good laugh at my expense.”

The retired catering manager was elected to Thetford Town Council in 2010, Norfolk County Council in 2013 and Breckland Council in May last year.

“My daughter is seven months pregnant and she was very relieved to hear I was all right,” added Cllr Crawford.