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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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Families warned to drain paddling pools to stop vampire horseflies breeding after heatwave

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Vampire like horseflies are breeding like never before as Britain enjoys the longest heatwave in 40 years.

They are breeding like never before with the aide of garden pools and the heatwave.

The NHS is now advising members of the public to drain standing water to stop insects multiplying.

These insects love water and the heat will only help them increase in numbers.

The problem comes when they bite you, more that 9000 people have called the NHS helpline 111 to report these insects bites.

They leave a painful bite which often requires antibiotics if they become infected.

According to Dr Nick Scriven, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, bites from vampire horseflies can be especially sore.

He told the BBC: “They actually give one of the nastier bites, because they take a chunk out of you.”

“They can be very painful, and can take a while to heal, and as result can get infected and need antibiotics.”

Paddling pools are prime breeding grounds for these bugs.

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Thug attempted to kill cop jailed for less than 2 years… It should be life

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We know you should have faced attempted murder charges, we know your laughing at your sentence. Because you attempted to kill a cop to avoid arrest because you are an idiot.

But be assured when that day comes that you need the police to save your life they won’t hold it against you.

In the early hours of Wednesday, 13 June officers chased a suspected stolen vehicle along the A22 Godstone Bypass, after it had been linked to a burglary in Oxted eight days before.

Officers managed to box the vehicle in (using a manoeuvre known as Tactical Pursuit and Containment TPAC).

During the TPAC, the vehicle swerved into one of the police cars, trying to force it off of the road. Officers managed to box the vehicle in, and it then tried to reverse away from officers, so officers got out of their vehicles and tried to remove the driver (Kidd), this included smashing the windows of the vehicle.

In car video footage shows Sergeant Chris Schultze, of the Area Patrol Team, was on the passenger’s side of the vehicle, but then started to go towards the driver’s side to assist officers.

As Sergeant Schultze was making his way to the driver’s side, Kidd drove forward in what appeared to be a deliberate attempt to knock the officers over the barrier, as seen in the footage.

Sergeant Schultze was initially treated at hospital for his injuries, and was later discharged and is now back on duty

The three occupants (two 19-year-old men from Sutton and a 17-year-old man) were arrested for various offences including burglary, theft of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop.

Ramone Kidd, 19-years-old, of Prince of Wales Road in Sutton, South London appeared at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (12 July), and pleaded guilty to the following:

Dangerous driving

Driving whilst disqualified

Driving whilst unfit through drink / drugs

Actual bodily harm (ABH)

Kidd was sentenced to 23 months in prison, and has had his licence disqualified for three years.

In court, His Honour Judge Moss commended all the officers involved in the initial pursuit and the investigation team.

Detective Sergeant Kerry Akehurst, from the Criminal Investigation Department said: “I would firstly like to echo what His Honour Judge Moss said around the professionalism of the officers involved in the incident.

“The role of a police officer is to protect the public, and each day officers put their lives at risk to apprehend suspects and protect the public. During this particular incident, officers attempted to stop the vehicle, and in doing so, three officers received injuries and four police vehicles sustained damage.”

The 19 and 17 year-old men have been released under investigation for the burglary offences whilst enquiries continue.

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The cops never complained… The media did, We Did!

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Recently an image of Donald Trump’s accommodation went viral and everyone likened the police to the army and the fact that because they are serving the public they should simply accept it.

While others including Police Hour believed the accommodation for a pre-planned event should be more suitable.

What shocked us the most was women slept on the floor and had a couple of toilets to share, while men with more luxury camp beds had a similar amount of toilets to share.

Shamefully this should not be happening at a pre-planned event, after all the police aren’t the army and should at least be kept in conditions in which they have a chance of sleeping within, allowing them to be refreshed ready for a 12-hour protest public order shift.

We complained about their welfare and lack of sleep due to so many people sleeping in such a small space. Is it not really acceptable in 2018 for a pre-planned event? this is not the Army. Many of these cops have slept in armed forces situations, in war zones, they simply got on with the job.

But not a single police officer complained, the media did, Twitter did and Facebook did. They simply got on with it and have done a fantastic job, They’ve not moaned like many have assumed they have.

Police Constable Rob Hammond who was part of the deployment tweeted that ‘I liked mine but could not keep it – so much better than the safari bed i was issued when in British Army the thing used to spontaneously collapse imagine 300 plus bobbies being flung out of bed at a sneeze”

SGT S tweeted that “for a massed deployment this venue was great. The female officers accom needed more thought. Disagree strongly with those airing publicly their complaints when there is a chain of command to follow and as officers should show greater resilience mu thanks to Colchester Garrison”.

Inspector Steve Wykes Tweeted “Well LB1 Northumbria is home after a really interesting few days away. Privileged to be part of @ThamesVP operation for @POTUS visit. We were well fed, well accommodated and deployed into the fantastic Blenheim palace. Grateful to my team for their efforts @northumbriapol”

Manc Sergeant who releases the photo took to Twitter to clarify a couple of points tweeting that “no cops actually complained, we were just getting on with it but a photo of the accommodation went viral”.

Also tweeting “Morale was always high and everyone was having a laugh whilst getting the job done even after putting in a 18 hour shift on 1 hours sleep!”.

They got on with the biggest deployment since 2011, made some friends for life and had a great weekend policing.

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