‘Our eye in the sky is a vital tool’

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CLEVELAND Police’s eye from the sky has been used to assist in a string of investigations over recent weeks including pursuing motorists and finding missing people.

The helicopter has been called out nine times over Hartlepool in the last two months with further searches including seeking out suspected thieves, a motorists believed to have been involved in a suspected hit and run and a suspected burglar.

The force’s Eurocopter EC135 P2i 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.

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

“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.”

May 17 at 1.05am: Search for people believed to be responsible for theft from a building site. Suspects were located and arrested.

May 16 at 8.55pm: Involved in search for a stolen vehicle, but it stopped by units prior to arrival, resumed to next task.

May 15 at 3.10pm: Search for vehicle involved in collision with a cyclist and failed to stop at scene. The car was found abandoned nearby.

May 8 at 11.45pm: Search for occupants of vehicle found overturned and abandoned.

May 6 at 6.40pm: Coastal area between the North Gare and Blackhall was searched and cleared following concerns for a missing vulnerable male.

May 4 at 12.40pm: Search for vehicle which had failed to stop and made off from patrol units.

April 10 at 11.40pm: Search for person who made off after abandoning a motor vehicle. Rear gardens searched and cleared.

April 7 at 12.35am: Search for a suspected intruder who made off from an industrial premises. A large open area was searched and cleared.

March 28 at noon: Carried out search for males who made off from a vehicle which had failed to stop for police. Males identified at address and officers directed to them.