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The Last Flight of Police Helicopters 10 helicopters going #SaveOurChopperCoppers 

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Last week the NPAS announced that over the next 2 years, 10 police helicopter bases would be closing the hanger door for a final time. The implications are grave on many levels, and are of a direct result of reductionsto finances of around 37% since 2012. 

When a proposition is put to the police, that something that they consider critical is about to be reduced but ‘will be more efficient’ those who actually need and use the service are understandably sceptical

 

Back in 2012 this was exactly the case with police helicopters, a business plan, reached the conclusion that pooling helicopters under one organisation and placing them at number of strategic bases was much ‘smarter’ and of course cheaper than forces operating their own aircraft. Don’t forget this ‘new’ efficient business plan preceded a case made by all policing area’s a few years earlier supporting all 30 police air support bases to remain!

 

The job of running the new service was handed to West Yorkshire Police and most Chief Constables across the country duly signed up to the new National Police Air Service – NPAS and handed over their helicopters. 


Many Chiefs had reservations of course that they wouldn’t see the police helicopters nearly as much – especially the forces further from the bright lights and big cities. NPAS reassured the Chiefs that the new 23 bases would make sure everyone was covered as well as they were now during NPAS peak times – meaning for 10hrs a dayThe other 14hrs mostly during the night (when serious crime occurs) it’ll be a reduced service with a handful of helicopters covering the whole country.

 

Police Chiefs signed on the line and handed over pilots, crews, and helicopters and submitted yearly amounts of money. This amounted to several hundred thousand pounds, to nearly £2million per year to NPAS in return for an airtime deal where you pay for so many hours of flying in your force for catching criminals and searching for vulnerable missing persons etc. 

 

Now we’ve just had NPAS’s first full financial year and they’ve been hit with finding efficiency savings to the tune of 37%. That’s 23% in 2012 and now a further 14%.The reality of this is that they now simply can’t deliver what the individual police forces signed up to. They’ve agonised over many penny pinching schemes, but the reality of the level of cuts is the dropping of the bombshell that they’ll have to close bases and lose helicopters, the very opposite of the undertaking that NPAS promised to deliver back in the days of delivering a more ‘efficient and effective service’ .

 

In the light of the latest cuts NPAS produced a map of the UK showing a multitude of blue circles representing their target 20 minute flight times from their home bases to priority calls that they’ve agreed with police forces. The ‘practitioners’ have produced their own, based on experience and reality. 

The map has some shocking features, namely a total lack of helicopter coverage for ‘priority’ calls across huge swathes of the country. Cumbria and most of Lancashire has virtually no police helicopter cover with the planned base closure at Warton for example.

Wales and East Anglia, and the North East of England are dealt similar blows with no police helicopter cover to meet the priority target at all. 


The reduced number of bases under the new NPAS model is focused on the denser populated cities and anywhere outside of those areas is wildernesses as far as policing from the skies are concerned. Helicopters have a limited amount of fuel and flying over any distance seriously depletes their ability to stay overhead and actually do the task they were called up for, in reality cancelling out their effectiveness and value for money. 

 

The blame for this mess lies fairly and squarely at the door of the Home Office, they have openly reneged on a proposition for borderless police helicopter service by slashing its funding and actually forcing closures. Indeed If they’d been transparent and honest about this at the start, many forces may have considered not signing up to NPAS in the first place. 

 

The Minister for policing, Mike Penning as you would expect has responded with the usual wretched rhetoric about slickness and efficiency but it simply wont wash with the public who live in the huge swathes of the country like the North East and North West now pretty much abandoned by NPAS. 

 

At least Penning has had the decency to refrain from the government’s pathetic mantra of ‘maintaining frontline policing’ because it’s now become laughably implausible. 

 

The brave men and women who operate our NPAS cover so many front-line duties  pursuit safety, suspect containment, assisting 999 services, moving resources, finding missing persons, intelligence gathering and public order duty & demonstrations to name a few vital roles. The value of our police helicopters is immeasurable.   

 

What the public should be asking now from their PCC’s and MP’s is who exactly is holding this government to account for their safety? 

 

Cutting police helicopters is a charter for criminals and real worry for police on the ground that search for vulnerable missing persons on a daily basis. Criminals will act with impunity outside of the helicopter coverage and escape into the night and the lives of the missing and vulnerable will be lost where every minute counts. Meanwhile back in their cosy offices in the Home Office, they will pat themselves on the back for another job well done.

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ARRESTED: Hostages taken by armed man at Nuneaton Bowling Alley

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Armed Police and specially trained negotiators have successfully ended a hostage situation that lasted almost four hours.

Armed Officers and Ambulance Crews responded to the major incident at the MFA Bowling Alley in Nuneaton following a vast amount of calls reporting a man with a sawn-off shotgun.

The man is believed to have taken two hostages who were both staff members within the bowling alley.

Mehdi Afshar Chief Executive of MFA Bowl confirmed that two members of his staff were being held, hostage.

It is Mehdi believe that the suspect gunman is known to one of his staff members and the relationship is either an ex-husband or boyfriend.

No customers or other staff members were hurt in the incident and were allowed to freely leave, while the suspect told many others to get the F**k out of here while screaming at his hostages it is Game Over.

 

The incident began just after 3pm on Sunday 22nd October when many families and children fled the scene after spotting the gunman.

Those that did not escape the scene immediately were told to leave by the gunman.  Police quickly ruled out the incident as being terror-related.

Credit: PoliceHour

The full area is on lockdown with all roads in and out of the area have been blocked and no one is allowed to leave the Nearby Odeon Cinema located next door to the bowling alley or a nearby soft play centre.

The Air Ambulance has landed near the bowling alley and has since left the location.

Video footage shows a number of armed police officers in a car park at the scene.

 

Warwickshire Police confirmed that they were dealing with an “ongoing incident” however while the incident was ongoing they did not confirm the nature of the incident.

Once the incident had concluded police confirmed that the man had been arrested and two hostages had been released uninjured.

Moments before the incident ended flash bangs were seen and heard before armed officers moved in and very quickly the suspect was arrested before being placed in the back of an ambulance which left the scene on blue lights and under a police escort.

A Spokesperson for Warwickshire Police confirmed the suspect had now been arrested and the situation was over.

“Specialist firearms officers and police negotiators, along with fire, ambulance and police air services, attended the location at the bowling alley in St David’s Way, Bermuda Park. A man has been arrested and is in police custody.

“Members of public at the bowling alley and neighbouring properties were evacuated to safety and nobody was injured during the incident.

“Warwickshire Police Chief Superintendent Alex Franklin-Smith said: “We would like to thank local people for their patience and cooperation while officers dealt with this incident. We are pleased that we were able to bring this incident to a peaceful resolution and that there were no injuries. I would like to reassure the Nuneaton community that the incident is unconnected to any terrorist activity.”

 

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Urgent Warning over exploding paw patrol soap after boy three in intensive care bath bomb exploded

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Three-year-old boy is currently in a critical condition after a canister of Paw Patrol bath foam exploded while he was having a bath

The product has not been recalled, however, we would urge all parents to think twice when thinking about using this product.

The little tot is currently being cared for at Belfast’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children last night.

The little boy has burns to the outside and inside of his body, it is believed he was in the bath with his Paw Patrol Foam soap and it suddenly exploded.

The boy who has not been named was rushed to hospital on blue lights in a critical condition.

A spokesman for the Belfast Trust said the little boy is “in the children’s intensive care unit and his condition is critical”.

Nickelodeon confirmed that they had heard about the incident and that they were investigating the matter.

Confirming “We are terribly sorry to hear about this dreadful incident and we are gathering more information about the licensed product involved.”

Paw Patrol is an animated TV programme that is broadcast on Nickelodeon and is popular with kids and features six rescue dogs.

But they did not say whether or not the product would be withdrawn from sale.

You can buy the bath foam at a range of high street shops.

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Urgent appeal takes 2 seconds to share to help find missing teen from York

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Please share this picture far and wide in hope that we can bring this 13-year-old back home . It only takes one person who shares this to spot her and be that’s difference

North Yorkshire Police is urgently appealing for information to help find a missing 13-year-old girl from York.

Elise Donoghue was last seen leaving her drama class at the York Theatre Royal on St Leonard’s Place just before 8pm on 19 October.

It’s thought Elise is without money or access to a mobile phone, and she is considered vulnerable due to her age.

Police enquiries have been ongoing to locate in York where it is known she has connections in the Fulford and Danesgate areas of the city.

There is also a possibility she headed to York Railway Station and boarded a train heading towards the north-west where she has friends in the Cheshire area. British Transport Police is assisting with enquiries.

Elise is described as white, 5ft 2in tall, blonde hair with a medium build. When she was seen she was wearing a grey hooded -top, black leggings, black Ugg boots and she carrying a shoulder bag.

Anyone who knows where Elise is or have seen a girl matching her description, please call North Yorkshire Police as a matter of urgency on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room. Please quote reference number 12170187979.

If Elise you are reading this there is help and support available simply call or text 116000 they will be able to help you free and confidential.

Anyone who is currently missing from home Missing people are here to help you whenever you are ready; they can listen, talk you through what help you need, pass a message for you and help you to be safe. Call. Text. Anytime. Free. Confidential. 116000

They are also on hand to provide support for anyone who has been recently returned home having been missing.

 

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