Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 3°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

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

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

Ipswich will receive a share of a £60m school improvement scheme after being identified as a social mobility ‘coldspot’, the government is set to announce today.

Paramedics, police and three fire engines are currently at the scene of a crash in Trimley St Mary.

A senior detective has warned residents to be vigilant after burglaries in Suffolk increased by 40% in December.

With the sun setting on the sleepy village of Crowfield this afternoon, you would hardly have known it was 18 hours in to an armed police stand-off.

A new walkway could be built from a busy road to an Ipswich park after campaigners called form greater safety measures.

A quiet Suffolk village is in lockdown this afternoon as a police stand-off which began at 11.15pm yesterday continues.

Dozens of public houses have closed in Ipswich in recent years. The pace of losses has now slowed and many community pubs are run by volunteers. 
This week David Kindred looks back at the two in particular - The Old Bell, which stood at the junction of Stoke Street, Vernon Street and Bell Lane, and Blooming Fuchsia in Foxhall Road.

Back before they were presenting I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and The Brit Awards, Ant and Dec took the UK by storm with their pop duo act, PJ & Duncan.

Music lovers heading to Jimmy’s Festival at his farm in Wherstead this summer are in for a treat – festival favourite KT Tunstall has been booked as a headliner.

Vulnerable older people in Suffolk are missing out on a million pounds worth of benefits they did not know they could claim.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24