Cambs Helicopter To Go?

Cambridgeshire Police could lose it's dedicated force helicopter.

It's because the government plans to create a new "National Police Air Service" by 2012.

It would mean helicopters being stationed somewhere and then covering a large area.

The government says this would be about £15 million cheaper than the current set-up.

Head of the NPAS, Chief Constable Alex Marshall said: "This is not merely a cost saving exercise.

While the current service is capable of doing its day job, artificial boundaries have meant that helicopters are restricted to operating within their own force area.

A national, borderless service will ensure effective coverage of urban and rural areas."

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesperson said: "The future of the force helicopter is under consideration as part of plans to create a National Police Air Service by April 2012.

The air operations unit provides a vital service to the force and it is crucial that we have air support in the future.

However at this time it is uncertain as to what the structure of that support will be and where it will come from.

In these challenging times we need to look at all areas of business to establish the most efficient way of delivering that service and difficult decisions will have to be made."

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