W Bro Adrian Fox reports

Around 150 people a day are reported missing in London, putting a huge strain on the resources of the Metropolitan Police. London Search & Rescue is a specially trained voluntary organisation set up 3 years ago to assist in searching for missing vulnerable people within London, and beyond.

A vulnerable missing person could be of any age - a lost child, adults who may have dementia, Alzheimer’s or autism, or someone considering taking their own life. In each case, having the correct equipment, skills and training to respond to these emergencies is crucial - every second really does count!

An Incident Control Unit (ICU) is a hugely important piece of kit, enabling London Search & Rescue to quickly respond to a missing person emergency. The ICU vehicle is the control centre of the search, equipped with key technical equipment, enabling skilled search managers to organise where to send volunteers to search, provide medical equipment, and act as a radio command control between searchers and the police.

Each missing person has their own characteristics; having a fully equipped ICU is crucial in enabling the search team to quickly locate and deploy searchers to the most likely areas where they may be found.


Thanks to the London Freemasons’ Charity, who recently awarded a £5,000 grant to fully equip our first incident control vehicle, London Search & Rescue can now quickly deploy search teams at the location of the missing person and hugely increase the chance of saving a life.


Steve McGowan, Operations Director, says “the support given by the London Freemasons will help us make a positive difference. Having access to an Incident Control Unit has improved London Search & Rescue operational capability immensely in our support to the Metropolitan Police and the families of those missing people we are tasked to try and find in London.”

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 42 October 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons - Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 42.