Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Video/Gallery: Tour round police helicopter base at Wattisham Airfield

PUBLISHED: 16:28 26 February 2013 | UPDATED: 16:28 26 February 2013

A tour of the cold war hanger (Suffolk Branch of the National Police Air Service Hangar Facility) at Wattisham Airfield which is the home of the police helicopter.

A tour of the cold war hanger (Suffolk Branch of the National Police Air Service Hangar Facility) at Wattisham Airfield which is the home of the police helicopter.

Archant

THE boss of Suffolk’s police helicopter has emphasised the service’s importance in tackling crime.

Base manager Julian Bosley was speaking as he gave an exclusive tour round the helicopter facility at Wattisham Airfield.

The county’s helicopter which covers Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and north Essex can be airborne in response to an emergency call in just two minutes.

Sergeant Bosley, 42, said: “We deal with 100 to 150 incidents per month – a wide range of things- reactive stuff, vehicle pursuits, crimes in progress, missing people, people having a crisis.

“We are aware we are noisy, we ask police on the ground and we stay there until they are confident it is secure.

“It costs about £1.25million per year to run the helicopter, staff and engineering costs. I know it costs an awful lot to run a police helicopter but a lot of people are quite proud that Suffolk as a county was able to get funding together to run a helicopter ourselves. It’s a service of reassurance. I always know it makes people ask what’s going on when they see it in the air.

“The east of England was the first set of police forces to move to the National Police Air Service which happened for a combination of things. It’s about efficiency, there’s no doubt, having one aircraft here for the county is not very efficient.”

The team fly the £6million Eurocopter EC135 which carries a range of tools to counter criminals down on the ground.

A thermal imaging camera can detect people in the dark, a separate camera provides coverage in the daytime as well as a rear search light and a powerful PA system.

A former nuclear bunker, dating from the Cold War era, houses the helicopter and its team at the base near Stowmarket.

The base’s personnel include a team of four pilots, seven air observers and a team of engineers.

The Eurocopter can stay airborne for up to two hours and cruises at 120knots (140mph).

Suffolk is protected with a 24-hour helicopter presence since the National Police Air Service took over from Suffolk Constabulary last October.

2 comments

  • Story: "Tour round police helicopter base" Actual: 25 seconds of poor footage shown in the wrong format, of a landing, and no tour!

    Report this comment

    john

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

  • DID I READ THAT WRONG ,,??

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The annual Stowmarket open air music festival is set for its biggest ever year, with StowFiesta now set to run over two days for the first time.

Delays on the A12 in Woodbridge have been caused by a car and trailer which has reportedly “flipped” according to police.

It’s time to look back at a popular event that is brought up on our Ipswich Remembers Facebook page on a regular basis - the Piggywink Disco.

Top photographers from around the region are showing their exciting talent at an exhibition of work capturing a wide variety of topics.

A barn caught alight last night in Castle Hedingham, with firefighters called to battle the blaze

Three engineering students are to put their skills well and truly to the test when they attempt to drive a 21-year-old car across 17 countries for charity.

Food editor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis says The Wild Blackberry in Bromeswell is a gem of a cafe

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24