Busy times for police helicopter

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THE Cleveland Police helicopter helped out during a string of incidents from high-speed pursuits to a missing seven-year-old this month.

The helicopter has been called out eight times over Hartlepool following reports of missing people, including one who was only seven-years-old, to help search for suspects believed to have been involved in theft and burglary offences and to help in the pursuit of a suspected stolen car.

It was also called out eight times in the Billingham area to help locate a car after a driver failed to stop for police, several missing person reports and to help detain suspected burglars.

The Eurocopter EC135 P2i was bought earlier this year and 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 onto mobile devices and desktops of officers.

A spokesman for Cleveland Police Authority, said previously: “Any of these could instantly become the centre of a major incident.

“The helicopter means we can police these and all other suitable incidents, quickly and efficiently.”

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