Revealed: fewer than half of police air support requests are met

A police helicopter
A police helicopter
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LESS than half of all requests for a police helicopter to attend an incident in Hampshire last year saw no air support turn out, a report has found.

A report by HMICFRS, a police watchdog, has called for urgent reform of the National Police Air Service.

HM Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr said: ‘We found some fundamental problems with the current collaborative arrangements for police air support, which have led us to conclude that urgent change is required – if not a fresh approach entirely.’

He added: ‘An inconsistent service means that many incidents requiring air support are over before a police helicopter can arrive.

‘Moreover, we are concerned that the police service now operates insufficient aircraft to provide a consistently prompt response to incidents in all forces in England and Wales.’

The report said Hampshire police made the fifth fewest requests for air support from per 1,000 population. Average response time to an incident in Hampshire was just about 28 minutes, the average for England and Wales.