Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 13°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Suffolk: Police spend £1m a year on helicopter but spend is below budget

09:00 28 December 2012

Police helicopter

Police helicopter

Archant

KEEPING the police helicopter flying over Suffolk costs the taxpayer more than £1million each year, we can reveal.

According to figures released by Suffolk Constabulary, the helicopter has taken a £3.53m bite out of the force’s budget over the past three years.

Police bosses, who say the aircraft plays a valuable role, said they work on the basis that each hour in the helicopter costs about £1,750.

The figures, which cover the cost of the premises, fuel, maintenance and staffing, were released under the Freedom of Information Act.

They also reveal that from January this year to October, the police helicopter flew 822 hours, with the longest flight being the search for a missing person.

In 2011 the helicopter flew for 696 hours, down slightly on the 735 hours flown in 2010.

Since April 2011, the helicopter has provided air support to Norfolk and since April 2012 has also covered Cambridgeshire and north Essex. A spokesman said that although flying times this year have been “noticeably higher”, money has been saved because of the closure of helicopter bases in Norwich and Wyten.

He added: “The fixed costs of keeping a helicopter are a significant proportion of the annual costs, therefore the more use it gets, the less each flying hour costs.”

The actual length of the longest flights, which included “monitoring public order at a march”, were not released to protect details of the aircraft’s “tactical flight range”.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary, who said the force had seen an overall reduction in expenditure last year, due to Norfolk Police buying into the services, said the spend on the helicopter was £44,000 under budget in 2011-12.

In 2010-11, the cost of the helicopter was £81,000 under budget. Suffolk was one of the first forces to join the national scheme for air support and added that by the end of January 2015, helicopters would only be flying from 20 strategic bases throughout the country.

2 comments

  • just have to say that i believe the picture to be of the East Anglian Air Ambulance not the suffolk police helicopter sorry just saying lol

    Report this comment

    Martin Bignell

    Friday, December 28, 2012

  • Since day one with the introduction of the Suffolk police helicopter various folk have centred, quite rightly, on the costs involved. But what a great reassurance it is to us people in the countryside! And what a deterrent to wouldbe miscreants who might otherwise regard rural Suffolk as an easy target for their efforts. Suffolk is variously regarded as a wonderful, quiet place - or a rural backwater - let's make sure the powers that be don't take us back in time and rob us of our airborne coppers!

    Report this comment

    Roberta

    Friday, December 28, 2012

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

Crowds enjoyed the sunshine at Ipswich Music Day 2015 in Christchurch Park.
Stetsons are Cool got the crowd dancing.

From live music and open air cinemas to art, sport and stunt displays, Ipswich has a packed programme of family fun lined up this summer.

Town pastors gather for their 10-year celebration conference at Adastral Park, Martlesham Heath

Town pastors from across Suffolk gathered together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the project.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia

Ipswich isn’t blessed with beautiful bridges; civil engineers don’t come to town to marvel at the engineering prowess of Telford, Brunel or Stephenson, writes John Norman, of The Ipswich Society.

Ipswich Choral Society

An evening of music and poetry will celebrate a love of all things Shakespeare by the Ipswich Choral Society in Blakenham Woodland Garden next week.

Pigs Gone Wild Project Manager Norman Lloyd and Head of Property for the East of England Cooperative Stuart McDonald try to round up the pigs escaping the warehouse.

If you go down to Ipswich tomorrow, you are sure of a big surprise.

The White Hart pub in High Street, Saxmundham.

A public meeting has been called in Saxmundham to try to put together a £450,000-plus community bid to buy a closed down town centre pub.

Pc Andy Masterson checks motorists speeds on the A140 at Stonham Parva.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner has said he is ‘sick of arrogant drivers’ after the number of motorists clocked travelling at 100mph-plus trebled in a year.

A hedgehog

Look sharp, because Suffolk Wildlife Trust are head-hunting for a Hedgehog Officer.

Rushmere Hall Primary School had a red, white and blue party in the sunshine.

Revellers young and old across Ipswich have been continuing the Queen’s 90th celebrations long after her official birthday.

Pro-European protesters demonstrate outside Downing Street. Although the police monitored the demonstration, they said it was peaceful and there were no arrests.

Supporters of the Europe took to the streets of British capital cities to protest about the referendum decision to pull out of the EU.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24