Sandi Starfish will help to make the seaside safer at Hunstanton
Sandi Starfish will soon be back on the beach and the seafront at Hunstanton helping to keep children safe.
It is a popular seaside scheme, introduced by the police, which is fun for the youngsters but can also be a crucial tool for tracking down a missing child.
Parents and carers are encouraged to take a photo on their smartphone or camera of their child standing next to one of the large Sandi Starfish figures.
Insp Ben Jarvis, of Hunstanton Police, said: “It means that you have an up-to-date photo showing exactly what your child is wearing to show to officers if you become separated. Although the vast majority of missing children are found very quickly, it is still a traumatic experience.
The idea was launched following an idea from former PCSO Sandi Greenacre.
Insp. Greenacre said: “Sandi saw how distressing it can be when parents and children become separated and was keen to help them stay safe on the beach. Very sadly, Sandi passed away in 2013, so I am delighted this scheme is still helping families and continuing Sandi’ legacy.
The scheme is supported by West Norfolk Council. Deputy leader, Elizabeth Nockolds, added: “Thankfully we don’t get many lost children but when it happens it can be very distressing. This scheme can really help speed up re-uniting a lost child with their family.”
Sandi Starfish figures will be at the beach patrol hut on the promenade, on the beach below the clifftop car park and near the RNLI lifeboat station in Old Hunstanton.
Each location has a Sandi Zone number and families will be asked to make a number of their zone to share with the police if necessary.
Police also say that is the worst happens parents should call 999, remain calm and stay in the spot where they were last with their child and stay on the phone until police arrive.
There will be no wristband scheme this year.