Busy time for police helicopter

The Cleveland Police helicopter
The Cleveland Police helicopter

THE Cleveland Police helicopter was called out to a string of incidents in the last month including car chases, finding missing people and spotting poachers from the skies.

The helicopter was called out 19 times over Hartlepool, Billingham, Wolviston and East Durham during the last month to help search for suspects believed to have been involved in crimes.

It was called out at the end of last month to a report that poachers were digging out badger sets on private farmland, reports of people pushing stolen vehicle and to gather video evidence at the scene of a serious road collison.

It also helped out with searched for missing people, finding suspected believed to have been involved in crimes and following vehicles that have failed to stop for police.

The force’s Eurocopter EC135 P2i will attend thousands of incidents a year, helping arrest people suspected to be involved in a crime, searching for missing people and gathering intelligence.

The helicopter is said to be among the most advanced pieces of police equipment in the world and is able to operate at a higher level than the previous chopper to try and be less intrusive to the public.

The improved quality of its camera combined with the altitude it can fly at is also said to make it quicker to gather evidence over larger areas, and help make more arrests.

The cutting-edge technology allows digital information to be transmitted to the force’s control room and on to mobile devices and desktops of officers.

Temporary Chief Constable of Cleveland Police, Jacqui Cheer, previously said: “The helicopter really is a vital tool in finding people quickly.

“This can either be vulnerable missing people or criminals who are captured and brought to justice.

“It also enables the force to make massive efficiency savings in terms of officer hours, which means that resources can be directed to where they are most needed.”