March 3, 2022 10.20 am

Car found by river in search for alleged sex offender

Police are still trying to find the wanted man

A car belonging to an alleged sex offender was recovered near the River Witham in Bardney, as police teams continue to search the area for the at-large offender.

Police previously issued a missing person appeal for 37-year-old Steven Smith, later stating he was wanted in connection with alleged sexual offences and failing to appear in court.

At least 10 police vehicles were seen in the Bardney area, along with a dive search team and sniffer dogs, on Wednesday, March 2.

Lincolnshire Police have since revealed that their response was prompted by the discovery of a black Vauxhall Corsa near the River Witham off the Branston Causeway B1190 near Bardney Bridge.

Police have yet to locate Steven Smith, and their investigation to find him continues. He was last seen in the Bailgate area of Lincoln on February 24 wearing a dark jacket, white shirt, black trousers and black shoes.

A local resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Lincolnite they watched the police river search take place on Wednesday: “It looked like police with fishing rods in the water searching for something.

“There were police with dogs walking around fields and a drone came out at around 5pm searching the river.”

Police said they searched the area extensively. | Photo: Submitted

After finding the Vauxhall Corsa, Lincolnshire Police said: “We attended at the River Witham at Bardney yesterday (Wednesday) after a report of a black Vauxhall Corsa was found.

“The vehicle is owned by Steven Smith. We have searched the area extensively, with officers, police dogs, the kind assistance of the Louth Search Dogs and by officers using drones. So far we have not found Steven Smith and our search and investigation to find him continues.”

Anyone who has seen him, or who knows where he is, should contact Lincolnshire Police on 101 or via email at [email protected] quoting crime reference number 22000119358.