Deal is reached for force chopper

South Yorkshire Police helicopter
South Yorkshire Police helicopter

A DEAL has been made to save the police helicopter base serving Doncaster.

South Yorkshire Police Authority reached an agreement with the National Police Air Service to retain a helicopter based in Sheffield, rather than use a central hub which would double the flying time to Doncaster from eight to 16 minutes.

Following negotiations the authority has now agreed in principle to join the national scheme. It will be on the basis that the coverage will be divided between a Sheffield-based aircraft and the hub helicopter sites based at Carr Gate near Wakefield, Humberside Airport or Ripley in Derbyshire.

The Sheffield-based aircraft will be available on a ten-hour shift for seven days a week, with the other bases serving South Yorkshire outside of this shift. It will not incur any extra costs to the police.

Charles Perryman, chairman of South Yorkshire Police Authority, said: “A ten-hour shift pattern for a Sheffield-based aircraft would provide best coverage for time critical tasks, whilst also ensuring our full collaboration and engagement with NPAS.

“We and the chief constable are confident that the joint approach provides comprehensive operational air support to the communities of South Yorkshire at a more resilient level than could have been achieved if we were not to engage with the national service.”