Hucknall RAF Air Cadets thank police officer who tracked down stolen trailer

Grateful RAF Air Cadets in Hucknall have been reunited with their stolen catering trailer just days after it was stolen – thanks to some persistent detective work by a local police officer.

Sunday, 2nd May 2021, 9:39 am

The trailer, which provides a significant source of income for 1803 Hucknall Squadron, was reported stolen after it was found to be missing from the Unit's compound in Watnall Road on Saturday, April 17.

Officers from the Ashfield Neighbourhood Policing team launched an investigation and soon had their first lead – a positive hit for the trailer’s number plate on a local automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera.

Also visible was a small section of the vehicle towing the trailer, including part of its number plate.

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PC Oldham with Pilot Officer Liam Vernon and his son Cadet Flight Sergeant Ash Vernon.

With only those two things at his disposal PC Jonathan Oldham was able to positively identify the vehicle and cross reference it with local records.

As a result the trailer was later recovered in Jacksdale and has now been returned to the grateful cadets.

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and has since been released under investigation.

Commanding Officer, Pilot Officer Liam Vernon said: “Our squadron is also a charity, and we use this trailer to generate a significant portion of our fundraised income. It’s already been a tough year so losing our trailer before the busy summer season would really have been a massive blow for us.

"When I first realised it was missing I just felt so angry at the audacity of it all. This is clearly an item belonging to a youth organisation helping young people develop and learn new skills, but somebody still broke in and stole it all the same. Altogether we had around £4,000 invested in it and that would have been a huge hit for us to take if we’d not been able to get it back."

He added: “On behalf of everyone at 1803 Squadron I want to place on record our thanks to Nottinghamshire Police.”

PC Oldham, who has worked on the Ashfield response team for three years, said: “For me this is what being a police officer is all about – helping people who need our support and getting justice for victims. I am delighted for the cadets and all the adult volunteers who do such a great job.”

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