Specialist search officers are continuing their detailed hunt of Leighton’s Clipstone Brook as part of their investigation into the disappearance of a Linslade man.
CCTV footage led police to the area around Falcon Mews as being the last known location of Neil Devlin, of Town Bridge Mill, Leighton Road, who went missing on New Year’s Day.
Detective Inspector Zara Brown said: “Since Neil was reported missing on January 3, Bedfordshire Police have carried out a vast amount of work in trying to locate him.
“Given Mr Devlin’s vulnerability, he was immediately classified as a high risk missing person and his picture, description and details were released via conventional and social media.
“Officers have spoken to dozens of Neil’s friends, work colleagues and family members in the hope of building up a clearer picture of his lifestyle as well as carrying out house-to-house enquiries in Leighton Buzzard.
“We have also carried out detailed checks on his mobile phone records and personal information such as his bank account but unfortunately these haven’t shown anything since he went missing.
“Probably the most important part of the investigation is CCTV and detectives have viewed hours of footage to try and piece together Neil’s last movements.
“As a result, we have been able to follow him from the town centre to Falcon Mews where we know he remained until 11.30pm.
“After that, we do not have a clear idea of where Neil went but we have specialised search teams focussing in this area and will continue to try and trace what route he may have taken.
“We appreciate the efforts of the local community in assisting us with our search and would continue to encourage anybody with information to come forward and speak with us about Neil’s disappearance.”
On social media, Leighton’s police officers have been accused of having a “lack of presence” during the search that has seen members of the Leighton-Linslade community organise searches across the town.
Chris Keen said: “I have been following this story on here like everyone else and clearly everyone is doing a real good job, but surely the question has to be, ‘why are the police not heading up this matter themselves?’
“I find that very odd. And then there is the lack of a police presence around town,
“There seems an apparent ‘absence’ from the police in them fronting this campaign.”
But in response to the police criticism, Matthew Slade-Pedrick posted in the Help Find Neil Devlin Facebook page. He said: “I have seen a lot of frustration in the last day or so about how much the police are doing or not.
“Please don’t get confused or think that the lack of visibility on the streets is a sign that they aren’t doing anything,
“A – they are a lot more experienced and a lot more qualified than us to deal with these things and B – they have a lot more information at hand then we do.
“There are 2000 of us trying to find one person in a relatively small area, so we know how hard it is. They will get there, they just need to tie all those pieces up – They do know what they are doing.”