Mr.Mister: KyrieiTunes

Wessex FM News

Review of Dorset Police helicopter costs 'expected'

drones 1

Published at 12:01pm 12th February 2019.

A review of police helicopter costs is expected in the coming weeks.

Dorset Police say the success of its own drone unit, the first in the country, may have resulted in savings estimated at £170,000.

But at the same time the force is paying fixed fees for the shared helicopter and additional fees each time it is used.

Weymouth police helicopter.jpg_large

Chief Constable James Vaughan believes that because the police helicopter is based locally, at Hurn, there is a ‘proximity’ factor tempting the force to use it, or to call it in for a job when it is on the way back from a mission out of the county.

He said he would be looking at the costs in detail after a question from police and crime panel member Iain McVie at Thursday’s budget meeting in Dorchester.

“You are committed to over a quarter of a million pounds for the helicopter, but are you getting less for more because you are using the drones more,” he said.

Said Mr Vaughan: “We’re lucky that the helicopter is at Hurn and can get anywhere in the county quicker…but there is a chance that because it’s local we might use it more… there is some proximity pressure and we think we might be able to replace some helicopter activity with drones which are cheaper.”

The panel heard that the force drone unit, which was formed in May 2017, was deployed 182 times in the last financial year and by the end of next month is likely to exceed 300 uses in the current year. In July alone the unit saw 52 deployments, believed to be the highest in the country.

Each deployment costs at least one-third less than using the National Police Air Service.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Wessex FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Wessex FM

dorset business directory

West Dorset Living Apr 19
Book A Wessex FM Big Night Out Here

Book A Wessex FM Big Night Out Here

Wessex fm Disco, Quiz & Race Nights!

New Car Stickers

New Car Stickers

Grab your new localised stickers today!

Dorset Webcams

Dorset Webcams

Take a look around our beautiful county



Find out how to grow your business with us

island community action

Trending in Dorset

Dorset girl to represent Ellen MacArthur Trust at CarFest

Sophie had a life saving operation after developing a rare form of eye cancer.

RSPCA investigate more than 1,800 cases of animal cruelty in Dorset

The figures for 2018 also show there were more than 230 calls about neglected, abandoned and stray EXOTIC animals.

UPDATED: Police raid property in Weymouth

Wesley Street was closed off yesterday morning.

Wet Wipes cause flood outside Tesco on Portland

The blockage has been cleared and the shop's open again.

Dorchester driving test centre one of the easiest places to pass

The average pass rate for test centres across Great Britain was 46%.

More news...