Nottinghamshire woman was inspired to join police control room after her grandfather went missing

For hours the family of a Nottinghamshire man frantically searched for their frail grandfather after he went missing late at night from his home.

By Shelley Marriott
Sunday, 4th April 2021, 10:37 am

Frank Barker, who suffers with Alzheimer’s and is aged in his 80s, vanished from his house in Edwinstowe in July last year.

He went missing at 10pm leaving his family beside themselves with worry.

They called the police who immediately began to search and Mr Barker was eventually found alive later the next day, much to the family’s relief.

Deanna Malbon

But it was the positive first-hand experience of the professionalism of the police, especially the control room staff, and the lengths they went to which really left a lasting impression on Mr Barker’s young granddaughter Deanna Malbon. So much so the 24-year-old is now set to join their ranks and become a member of the control room staff herself.

She said: “He had gone missing from 10pm that night and we were worried sick as we didn’t know where he’d gone.

“We called the police who came straight out as soon as we phoned. All the officers who helped us were great and an appeal was published by the force to help find him.

“The police’s response was fantastic and they even called for an ambulance for us after my grandad was found.”

Now Deanna is looking forward to helping others in need as she prepares to begin her new role as an emergency call handler in the Nottinghamshire Police’s control room.

Deanna, who lives in Edwinstowe and was born in Worksop, graduated from the University of Chichester with a 2:1 degree in musical theatre and music.

She previously worked at a family-owned shop in Edwinstowe for a number of years, filling various roles, but when she got the chance to apply to join Nottinghamshire Police as an emergency call handler last year she leapt at it.

She said: “I thought it sounded really interesting and challenging, I’d get the chance to meet a range of people and I’d be able to give something back to the community by helping and advising people which is something I’ve always wanted to do.

“I’ve learned so much already and now I’m really excited about going into the control room and using that knowledge to help people.”