Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Helicopter help costs North Yorkshire Police force £125k
HIRING airborne help to carry out searches and track criminals cost North Yorkshire Police £125,000 last year.
The bill for the force’s use of a search helicopter owned by a neighbouring force can be revealed by The Press following an analysis of North Yorkshire’s annual accounts.
As well as the cost of borrowing helicopters, the force also had to pay West Yorkshire Police £25,000 during 2011/12 for the assistance of its underwater search unit, including a boat which is used to scour the region’s waterways for missing people and those who have found themselves in difficulties on its rivers.
North Yorkshire Police does not have its own helicopter, meaning it enlists the help of an “eye in the sky” run by forces such as West Yorkshire Police and Cleveland Police when it is deemed necessary.
It can be used for tracing suspects and it can also be used to monitor large crowds at football matches and other sporting occasions and major events.
Recently, a helicopter was brought in as part of North Yorkshire Police’s investigation into a fight in York which left former boxing champ Henry Wharton in hospital.
In January, it was used in an operation to catch a suspected burglar who was eventually found hiding in a wheelie bin in the city.
There are currently plans for a new UK-wide airborne service to fight crime.
Helicopters run by forces across England and Wales are to be merged into a single National Police Air Service in a move intended to save more than £15 million off the bill for policing from the air.
The new service would see the number of aircraft operated by police reduced from 31 to 23 across 20 bases.