Planes, drones and helicopters: an independent study of police air support

Summary

Air support is obtained by police forces across England and Wales in several ways. Most police air support is provided using helicopters operated by the National Police Air Service (NPAS). The majority of air support is provided in connection with crimes in action, and about a quarter of deployments are to aid searches for missing persons.

NPAS provides air support under a collaboration agreement to the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police.

HMICFRS commissioned a study following concerns expressed by some forces about the effectiveness and efficiency of current arrangements for police air support, and to inform our understanding of how territorial forces in England and Wales collaborate. Fieldwork was carried out between January and March 2017.

The report below sets out the findings of this study.

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Planes, drones and helicopters: an independent study of police air support

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National Police Air Service needs urgent reform

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