Fears for National Police Air Service
THE announcement of the new National Police Air Service should be greeted with caution by residents of Devon and Cornwall.
Its Constabulary HQ at Exeter is nearer London than its far Western boundaries in Cornwall. It is the largest geographical force in England and Wales and has the most coastline.
The need for savings is evident in these financially constrained times but not at the cost of a reduced service.
The Exeter-based unit stands the danger of spending more time in Hampshire and South Wales leaving Devon and Cornwall without cover.
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With the additional burden of reduced foot and motor patrols capacity in such a huge area due to financial constraints the helicopter has a valuable role to play.
On what has been published the new Air Service with its headquarters in Yorkshire will have the say as to whether Swindon or Southampton get air support for incidents as opposed to Penzance or Barnstaple.
There has been no mention of deployment protocols which, if published, will have to scrutinised carefully to ensure our Constabulary area is not disadvantaged.
Liberal Democrat Candidate
For Police and Crime Commissioner