Quick-thinking children form human arrow to help police helicopter find suspected burglars
Published 01/04/2016 | 16:27
Police have released a video of a group of youngsters who formed a human arrow to point a police helicopter in the direction of two suspected burglars on the run.
The group of 30 children and adults were taking part in an Easter egg hunt in Capel, Surrey, when they became aware of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) helicopter circling overhead.
The helicopter had been called by Surrey Police following a report of intruders at a disused building off Horsham Road in Capel.
A force spokesman said: "Initially, the presence of the police helicopter was enough to entertain the children and parents but it didn't take the intrepid residents long to realise they were witnessing a police pursuit set within their quiet rural community.
"The children quickly formed an arrow on the ground in the middle of a ploughed field to guide the helicopter in the direction of the fleeing pair. The helicopter crew relayed this information to officers on the ground and a short time later two men were arrested."
NPAS Sergeant Paul Sochon said: "I'm sure the last thing the group of daring Capel residents expected when they set out on Friday afternoon was to abandon their Easter egg hunt to assist us in a police search but the initiative they demonstrated proved to be invaluable.
"The swift action taken by the group of parents and their children was the sort of thing you would usually associate with an Enid Blyton adventure but their ingenuity proved a great help for our crews.
"As a thank you for their efforts, the NPAS crew landed nearby to thank the children for the role they played in the incident and they even shared a few chocolate treats with the team, which was an added bonus after a busy shift."
A 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident.
Both men have been released on bail until May 13 pending further inquiries.