Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying with This Idea Could Save Us Pounds 250k

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying with This Idea Could Save Us Pounds 250k

Article excerpt

Byline: SANDY McKENZIE

SETTING up a National Police Air Support Service could save Cleveland Police pounds 250,000 a year, says force authority chairman Stuart Drummond.

In the past there have been concerns about the helicopter becoming part of a national Police Air Support Unit - including how much it would cost the Cleveland force.

The Government has made clear that, if necessary, it will use its powers to make police forces sign up. The new air unit would have 22 aircraft across the country, including one based on Teesside. Talks about the national unit have been ongoing for some time.

Mr Drummond said: "Throughout the discussions on the plans for a National Air Support Service we have sought to ensure that we would continue to maintain a high standard - and cost effective - service.

"The helicopter performs a vital task in tackling crime and responding to emergencies, but it is, of course, an expensive resource and, if the introduction of the national service does deliver savings, then it would obviously be of benefit.

"As a result of the discussions we have had with the team developing the plans for the national service, we believe that the latest proposals would deliver savings in Cleveland of around pounds 250,000 a year. …

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