The police’s eye in the sky has had a makeover
The police’s eye in the sky has had a makeover.
West Yorkshire now makes use of the Bradford-based National Police Air Service (NPAS).
The switch to NPAS means police helicopters operate across force boundaries, making use of the nearest aircraft.
In light of the change the Wakefield based aircraft has had a paint job transforming it from white and blue to dark blue and yellow.
West Yorkshire Police signed up to the service last April, transferring its aircraft to NPAS control.
But the helicopter pad at Carrgate, Wakefield, remained, and the helicopter based there is now decked out in official NPAS colours.
Chief Supt Ian Whitehouse, accountable manager for NPAS, said: “It’s business as usual for West Yorkshire Police and the people the force serves.
“When a helicopter is asked for we get the nearest available aircraft into the air as quickly as possible and we also continue to provide aircraft for large-scale public events.
“Painting the helicopter in the new NPAS colours simply marks the final transition of the aircraft into NPAS control.”
When all forces in England and Wales join NPAS, it will provide an air service to 98% of the population.
NPAS aircraft are placed at 23 strategic locations to provide the operational capability to deliver an enhanced service to the public with an aircraft being available 24 hours a day.
Reserve aircraft are also provided when aircraft are unavailable due to maintenance to minimise any reduction in service.
NPAS delivers a more cost effective service, balancing the need to save money against the need to ensure the police service has a quickly deployable asset that can be used to tackle crime and protect the public.
It is anticipated that NPAS will save up to £15m a year when all forces join it compared to the cost of previous arrangements.
When fully formed, NPAS will serve all 43 forces in England and Wales under a lead force model. That force is West Yorkshire Police and the organisation already serves the existing members of NPAS with the control room based in Bradford.