Police Helicopters

Soldato
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Now is it me or do these things seem like a massive waste of resources, there are a couple of programmes on the TV ATM and all they seem to do is hoon around after a few kids on motorbikes etc.

These things must cost a fortune to operate wouldn't the money just be better spent on more police on the ground?

HEADRAT
 
Soldato
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During thr 90's when car crime was rife around my area I would hear the helecopter fly over the house a couple of times a week. It would have it's beam on tracking a stolen car. The success rate of catching the thiefs was very high.

In the last few years however I have rarely heard the helecopter at all so you may have a point. Car crime has fallen, joyriding and ram rading are in massive decline, so maybe the helecopters aren't needed so much.

I guess we need to see statistics for the % of arrests aided by helecopter support to decide.
 
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MookJong said:
In the last few years however I have rarely heard the helecopter at all so you may have a point. Car crime has fallen, joyriding and ram rading are in massive decline, so maybe the helecopters aren't needed so much

OR maybe the helecopters are so good a deterant that its helped to cut down these types of crime.

I dont think they are a waste of money. They are an invaluable tool in urban areas. Infact I would prefer the police to use Apaches thus irradicating the crime at the source. Hellfire'ing Chavs on mopeds and drunk chav LANGUAGE! in parks at midnight at weekends.
 
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HEADRAT said:
Now is it me or do these things seem like a massive waste of resources, there are a couple of programmes on the TV ATM and all they seem to do is hoon around after a few kids on motorbikes etc.

These things must cost a fortune to operate wouldn't the money just be better spent on more police on the ground?

HEADRAT

You think they are a waste of resources, check out speed cameras.
 
Soldato
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The merseyside police website has a page where you can see all what the helicopter has been doing, the idea being that if it was over your house in the night, you know why.

I dont think its a waste to be honest, I think they are essential in major incidents and very useful in car chases and the like. I can see what you mean about some of those programs, they do often end up attending what seem like daft incidents when theres nothing else going on, but I suppose its better than it flying around doing nothing.
 
Soldato
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Not a waste at all.

The local paper had a piece on the Sussex Police chopper and it saves 40,000 or so man hours a year whilst searching. It also has a paramedic on board and can whisk critically ill people to hospital in much less time than an ambulance.
 
Soldato
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Spacky said:
You think they are a waste of resources, check out speed cameras.

:confused:

Don't they pay for themselves over a period of time due to people deciding to donate to the police force by speeding in areas where they are present though?
 
Soldato
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Nazbit said:
The merseyside police website has a page where you can see all what the helicopter has been doing, the idea being that if it was over your house in the night, you know why.

I wish there was one like that for Teesside, it goes over my house pretty well every night. I understand the need for them but I prefer it if they could make them quieter.
 
Associate
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The police here in North Wales use them to catch bikers speeding, i read somewhere that it reputedly cost's £8000 an hour to run these things (dunno if thats true?) while the local air ambulance is struggling to survive :mad:
 
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I know, from experience, they also search for bodies in water. I used to work in E. London and on more than one occasion I've known the police to look for bodies in the Thames.
 
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Nazbit said:
The merseyside police website has a page where you can see all what the helicopter has been doing, the idea being that if it was over your house in the night, you know why.

Just visited this page, very good idea.

The Police Helicopter is really an invaluable tool for the police and is worth every penny, just like Air Ambulances (which we need more funding for).

Burnsy
 
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Efour2 said:
the helecopters are so good a deterant that its helped to cut down these types of crime.

Agreed.

The cost offset is simple: fine the criminal to cover all of the costs of the operation to find catch him/her.

Then the police would not be out of pocket and it would act as a deterent too, instead of a slap on the wrist they usually get.
 
Soldato
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I fly at White Waltham, home of the Thames Vallery & Chiltern Air Ambulance. We had a members day to raise money for it, it still suprises me that it relies on charity. :(
 
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HEADRAT said:
Now is it me or do these things seem like a massive waste of resources, there are a couple of programmes on the TV ATM and all they seem to do is hoon around after a few kids on motorbikes etc.

These things must cost a fortune to operate wouldn't the money just be better spent on more police on the ground?

HEADRAT

Police helicopters are worth the resources in that they are invaluable for such things as locating people in wide open spaces such as missing persons and suspects. From a height, they can spot things that 50 cops on the ground could not and they are also invaluable for pursuits where they can track a vehicle which may lose the police vehicle following it. That vehicle will find it much harder to lose a helicopter.

Also, albeit in not an everyday occurrence, such things may happen where a firearms team has to be deployed very quickly to a scene and a helicopter may be the best way to do it.
 
Soldato
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MDExplorer_3.jpg


In Wiltshire, the Air Ambulance / Police Helicopter is run as a charity.

It is an MD 902 Explorer. (No visible tail rotor).

It can search to 90% efficiency, a square mile in 12 minutes compared to 454 person hours on the ground.

It is able to reach any part of the county in 12 minutes.

I personally don't feel it's a waste.

Imagine being the pilot. You can travel anywhere, anyhow all in the name of 'Police' or 'Rescue' business.
 
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Surveliance (drugs, high value theft, fraud), Stolen Cars, Misssing Kids/People and they have been used to search for bodies in Murders. They are sometimes used on match days to stop trouble and to help command control during riots.

I'd safely say they are needed and worth the cash.. A commercial helicopter is no way near as much as 8k to operate so i doubt these are. Most copper choppers are fairly quiet to be honest some are quite old tho and not so quiet.

The biggest problem is maintance, where to keep the thing and underuse. Training the pilots is also costly unless they get pilots and train them to be copper pilots.

I just wish Grampian Police had one.. with the royal family on holiday, majority of oil intrests of the UK and two large oil based ports to protect. also the biggest/busiest heliport in the UK you'd think they would have one.
 
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