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New Deal Keeps Police Helicopter in Dorset


7:39am 9th May 2013

Dorset will still have "Eyes in the Sky" after a deal was struck to keep Police cover in the air.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has signed us up to the Police National Air Service and says it'll reduce costs by £500,000 a year and improve coverage and response times.

Dorset will have 2 helicopters, based in the East and West of the county.

We currently have one force chopper that will stay at Winfrith while the national team look at where else to station it.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable for Dorset Police, Martin Hiles, said: "This new national service will mean greater air coverage and capacity to attend incidents, which is good news for our communities. Where we currently have one helicopter covering the entire county, the national scheme means we will have back-up coverage provided by a second unit.

"Flying time in Dorset will increase from 19 hours per day to 24-hour coverage. This increased service also comes at a lower cost to the Force, with maintenance and servicing managed on a national level - reducing the burden of running costs on individual police forces."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, Martyn Underhill, said: "I embrace the move to the National Police Air Service. It will reduce costs, add coverage and improve response times. It is the right decision for the Force."

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