Police helicopter to be shared

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WHEN Norfolk Police lose their helicopter in March they will not replace it and instead hope to be supported by Suffolk’s police helicopter.

The helicopter that Norfolk police currently use no longer meets the requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority. Due to increasing costs and restrictions on use, the decision has been taken not to renew their existing contract with Norwich-based Sterling Aviation.

A collaborative arrangement has been proposed in which Suffolk’s helicopter would relocate to RAF Honington and provide Norfolk with 220 hours flying time at a fixed cost of £400,000 from April until March next year, when the National Police Air Service is expected to take over.

This would offset Suffolk’s air support costs and save Norfolk Police around £245,000.