Police aviation in the United Kingdom


Police aviation in the United Kingdom

Police aviation in United Kingdom provides the British police with an aerial support unit to assist them in pursuit, surveillance and tracking.

The most common air support aircraft is the Eurocopter EC 135T, which is equipped with daytime and night vision video equipment, instrument flight rules systems and radio equipment to track suspects and liaise with officers on the ground.

While most aerial units operate helicopters, some forces also use light aircraft such as the Britten-Norman Islander. A light aircraft allows higher and quieter surveillance, making it less likely that suspects will become aware they are being watched. A light aircraft also allows for longer flying time with less fuel consumption.

Operation

With scramble times of just four minutes for helicopters, or with standing patrols using fixed wing aircraft, aerial units are faster than ground units and can often be first on the scene to reported incidents.

Aerial units are often tasked to assist in vehicle pursuits. Air support allows ground units to disengage and follow from a discreet distance, hopefully making the pursuit less dangerous while still allowing ground units to be able to close in quickly as directed to apprehend suspects. Aerial surveillance also allows the police to anticipate the direction of the pursuit, and position ground units ahead of the suspect to block roads or deploy spike strips. Aerial units can also be used to efficiently locate missing persons.

Police helicopters can be crewed by three people; a civilian pilot, a police observer and rear police crew member. The pilot and observer sit up-front with eye contact with the ground. The observer is responsible for controlling the camera systems, and recording images for evidence in court. The rear police officer will assist in map-reading and strategic planning, allowing the pilot to concentrate on flying and the observer on camera control and visual reporting.

During an incident, ground and aerial units are able to communicate directly with each other, using the call sign of the unit.

Incidents

*In 1990, a police sergeant was killed when a police Bell Jet 206 helicopter crashed in bad weather at Eastwood Toll, Newton Mearns, Glasgow.

*On 17 February 2002 the three man crew of a Strathclyde police helicopter survived a crash in an 18 month old Eurocopter EC-135. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/1826661.stm Police helicopter crash 'miracle'] BBC News, 18 February 2002]

List of police aviation units

The following is a list of Police Aviation units in the UK and the forces or areas to which they are assigned.

The following forces have no full-time police aviation cover, although most will hire in aircraft when required.
* Cumbria Constabulary
* Central Scotland Police
* Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
* Fife Constabulary
* Grampian Police
* Lothian and Borders Police
* North Yorkshire Police
* Northern Constabulary
* Tayside Police

ee also

* Air Ambulances in the United Kingdom

* [http://www.ukemergencyaviation.co.uk UK Emergency Aviation] Police Helicopter Information & Gallery

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Police cadets in the United Kingdom — Law enforcement in the United Kingdom Crime in the UK · Terrorism in the UK Topics …   Wikipedia

  • General aviation in the United Kingdom — Infobox Aviation name=General aviation in the United Kingdom caption=Traditional general aviation fixed wing light aircraft, the most numerous class of aircraft in the sectorGeneral aviation in the United Kingdom has been defined as a civil… …   Wikipedia

  • Law enforcement in the United Kingdom — Crime in the UK · Terrorism in the UK Topics …   Wikipedia

  • Airport policing in the United Kingdom — has taken many forms since the rise of scheduled airline services in the post war period. Policing at major civilian airports was responsibility of the specialist constabularies operated by three central government departments until 1974, when… …   Wikipedia

  • Military police of the United Kingdom — In the United Kingdom, the phrase military police is normally used to describe two main types of police: service police and regimental provosts. There are a number of civilian police forces whose role is to police other parts of the Defence… …   Wikipedia

  • Fire service in the United Kingdom — The fire service in the United Kingdom operates under separate legislative and administrative arrangements in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Fire services have undergone significant changes since the beginning of the 21st century …   Wikipedia

  • Economic history of the United Kingdom — The economic history of the United Kingdom deals with the history of the economy of the United Kingdom from the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain on May 1st, 1707,[1] with the political union of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of… …   Wikipedia

  • Defence Council of the United Kingdom — The Defence Council of the United Kingdom is the body legally entrusted with the defence of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories and with control over the British armed forces, and is part of the Ministry of Defence.[1] Contents 1… …   Wikipedia

  • Civil liberties in the United Kingdom — have a long and formative history. This is usually considered to have begun with the English legal charter the Magna Carta of 1215, following its predecessor the English Charter of Liberties, a landmark document in English legal history. Judicial …   Wikipedia

  • June 1922 in the United Kingdom — See also: May 1922 in the United Kingdom, July 1922 in the United Kingdom, and the Timeline of British history. Close of Engineering DisputeThe result of the ballot of the unions other than the Amalgamated Engineering Union was announced on June… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.