#FindRobbie: Search groups organise to look for Gibson

Community groups and friends of Robbie Gibson, the popular local figure in the Crystal Palace area who went missing on Monday, are organising volunteer search parties and leafleting teams tomorrow, Saturday June 18, to try to locate him.

Robert GibsonThe 45-year-old journalist and library campaigner was last seen when he went for a walk from his Gipsy Hill home around 3pm on Monday. His mobile phone’s last signal was traced to somewhere near East Croydon Station less than an hour later.

Gibson is 45 years old. When he went missing he was wearing a Barbour-style coat, is 6ft tall, with silver-grey hair.

Ruth Bannister, one of the volunteer organisers, said this afternoon, “We’ve had an absolutely massive response to this from both the local and wider community, people volunteering their time to leaflet at stations and in local areas, sharing on social media and raising awareness.

“This weekend we are keen to cover the local parks and green spaces that Robbie loves. We are looking to arrange for groups of volunteers to leaflet and search these areas.

“There is a fair amount of ground to cover so you would need to come prepared for a long walk, potentially through woodland and over uneven ground so please wear suitable footwear and be prepared for a bit of rain. Because of this we would ask for over 18s only.

“We will be asking you to fan out over areas, leaflet and talk to the people you meet (families, dog walkers, runners) and to ensure that any potential hidey-holes are checked, so looking around bushes, in the corners and the overgrown hidden areas, keeping an eye out for places someone could sleep or hide out.

“We also need individuals who know the local area well and are happy to help lead these groups on the ground. If you could do this please contact Ruth Bannister at ruthlizban@aol.com for more details.

“Please meet at the Grape and Grain pub, Crystal Palace, at either 12.00 for a 12.30 set off or 4.00 for a 4.30 set off.

“The Grape and Grain will also have a supply of leaflets and posters available to anyone who wants to distribute these elsewhere and will be able to spread the word.”

There is another group meeting at 11.30am at the Crystal Palace food market before heading off to the central London mainline rail stations to hand out more leaflets, as the search spreads.

The organisation Missing People is also helping, having alerted soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other possible places of refuge. Its poster for Robbie Gibson can be seen here.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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