Helicopter swoops to arrest 136 suspects

The police helicopter crew helped to arrest 136 crime suspects in Derbyshire between January 1 and December 1 2012.

During the same period, the crews searched for 134 missing people, traced 29 stolen or suspect vehicles and airlifted four casualties to hospital.

The North Midlands Helicopter Support Unit, based at Derbyshire Constabulary headquarters in Ripley, is jointly owned by Derbyshire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Police.

John Jameson, North Midlands Helicopter Support Unit Executive Officer, said: “The helicopter brings a dimension to policing which can’t be achieved by conventional methods. Thanks to the crews, many suspects were apprehended who may have evaded capture if the helicopter had not attended an incident.

“Police helicopter units in England and Wales have started to merge under a collaboration agreement, forming the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

“There are six regions within the country. We are in the central region and will be joining NPAS in October 2013.

“A police helicopter will continue to operate from Ripley and a relief helicopter will be available when our aircraft is out of service.

“With economies of scale that such an organisation will bring and with the nearest helicopter attending an incident, Derbyshire should see an even more effective service at a reduced cost.”