Former Sussex police officer tells of the rise of Robocop at village talk

Former Sussex police officer Neil Sadler
Former Sussex police officer Neil Sadler

From missing persons to the rise of RoboCop, a former Sussex police officer delivered an interesting talk on policing at a club meeting in West Chiltington.

The Fryern Ladies Probus Club welcomed Neil Sadler to The Roundabout Hotel as its guest speaker on Thursday April 4.

Russ Fry, from the club, said: “We found Neil a relaxed, amusing and engaging speaker and we were a keen and receptive audience.”

Neil spent much of his 30-year service as an operational officer in various ranks across Sussex.

He spent time working briefly in Hong Kong, Trinidad and Abu Dhabi before finally returning to the UK to work in Bognor Regis, Haywards Heath and Crawley.

Neil spoke on the topics including ‘when is a bomb not a bomb?’, The Richard Reid incident and the policing of Gatwick Airport.

Neil also spoke about searching for missing persons and the miracle of the lost two year old who had managed a solo two and a half mile walk into the forest near Arundel.

The club also heard that there were 3,381 missing person reports during the year of 2010, and the third topic at the discussion was the rise of RoboCop.

The talk also covered changes in uniform and equipment since 1978 and how lady constables used to keep their truncheons in their handbags.

After the entertaining talk came to an end Neil was met with much applause.

Wendy Cliffe thanked him on behalf of the probus club and said how much of an insight he had given into the work of the police.

A question was raised about the loss of police officers patrolling the village and how vital they were to the discipline and reassurance of the neighbourhood.

According to Russ the club all agreed that times past seemed better than times present.

They said that the definition of the word progress needs greater scrutiny.

Russ added: “Thank you Neil for such an interesting talk.”

Fryern Ladies Probus Club also discussed its planned trips to Leonardslee in May and to the RNLI in July.

The club’s next meeting will be held on Thursday May 2 at The Roundabout Hotel.