VIDEO: Diving operation by the Sussex Police Specialist Search Unit in Horsham

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The Sussex Police Specialist Search Unit (SSU) undertook a diving operation today (January 24) in Horsham.

PC Paul Critchfield, PC Bret Beresford, PC Quinn and PC Middleton used their specialist equipment in the water under the footbridge round the back of St Mary’s Church in the Causeway from around 10.30am until 2pm.

PC Middleton in the SSU specialist van

PC Middleton in the SSU specialist van

“We deal with all the jobs which involve hazardous environments that other officers can’t deal with such as diving, climbing, heights, floods confined spaces and house searching,” explained PC Critchfield.

The team, who are based in Shoreham, are experts in searching for missing people, stolen property, drugs, weapons and firearms and are licensed to find and identify improvised explosive devices.

A police boat is used by the unit to undertake marine patrols along the Sussex coastline and during diving operations. They were also used in the Lewes floods in 2000.

PC Beresford said: “We dive for Sussex but we’re also used in other areas such as Kent, Surrey and Hampshire.

“I think there are only 12 of these units left in the country, with us being the smallest.”

Lorna Dennison-Wilkin is Sergeant of the SSU which is made up of seven members.

PC Critchfield added: “I enjoy the job and it’s nice to be outside even though it’s a bit cold today.

“We’re only a small team so we’re quite privileged and every day is always different.”

Visit or you can follow the SSU on Twitter at @sussexssu