THE Cleveland Police helicopter helped out in a string of incidents in the last month including car chases, finding missing people and spotting criminals from the skies.
The helicopter was called out 13 times over Hartlepool during October to help search for suspects believed to have been involved in crimes like theft and vehicle offences and to help in the search for a man wanted by police.
It was also called out following reports of a missing child and to help search for a 72-year-old woman reported missing on a beach.
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.”