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Police chief in final plea to keep chopper

Created on 13/12/2010 @ 19:04
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Dyfed Powys Police’s most senior figure is to make an eleventh hour bid to retain the force’s helicopter which is set to be cut in a police re-organisation.
Delyth Humfreys, chair of Dyfed Powys Police Authority, said that senior officers have raised concerns about the amount of coverage a proposed National Police Air Service would provide for this area and believes decisions have been made without the force’s input.
She said: “We have very real concerns about the implications that taking the Dyfed Powys Police helicopter out of service would have on the Dyfed Powys area. The current helicopter suits our needs very well – and is used frequently for life at risk incidents.
“We will now be writing to the project team to make our voice heard and highlight the compelling argument for keeping helicopter coverage in the Dyfed Powys area.”
A proposal was announced at the end of October as part of a National Police Air Service to withdraw the Dyfed Powys Police aircraft from service with provision continuing from other bases.
Dyfed Powys Police Authority said they had not been consulted and the matter had not been discussed in detail. Today, the Finance and General Purposes Committee of Dyfed Powys Police Authority considered a report from the Chief Constable on the proposal. Some initial representations had been made at a national level which outlined some concerns – but the Authority is now considering in more detail the implications for Dyfed Powys Police and the Welsh Region. 
Chief Officers have formally raised concerns in terms of the amount of coverage the proposed structures would provide to such a rural area, and the impact of the proposals on the organisation as the Police Authority have recently invested £1.52 million in a new air support base in Pembrey.
The National Project Team has suggested that a fixed wing aircraft could be incorporated in the National Police Air Service to address some concerns. But Dyfed Powys believe there are disadvantages with this such as inability to land at a scene, the inability to hover, and its inability to transport specialist officers.
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