Police to close their helo base at Wattisham

NPAS police helicopter from Wattisham  over Suffolk ANL-150225-155123001
NPAS police helicopter from Wattisham over Suffolk ANL-150225-155123001

The police helicopter based at Wattisham will be withdrawn in the next two years.

The National Police Air Service, which runs all UK police helicopters, has announced it will close 10 of its 25 air bases. It will continue to operate 23 aircraft but four will be cheaper to fly, longer range fixed-wing machines.

Five bases will close between September 2015 and February 2016 and the rest, including Wattisham, during the 2016-17 financial year.

The nearest helicopter to Suffolk will be at Boreham, near Chelmsford, which the NPAS says puts an area to just south of Norwich within 30min flying time.

Fixed wing will be based at East Midlands Airport but if required can move to Fenland Aerodrome at Holbeach St John, Lincolnshire, which is within 20min of most of Suffolk and Norfolk.

The NPAS budget has to be cut by 14 per cent in three years.