Dorset police defend their helicopter

Bournemouth Echo: Dorset Police helicopter’s ‘meet and greet’ with the public Dorset Police helicopter’s ‘meet and greet’ with the public

Dorset Police chiefs have defended the use of their helicopter, one of the most expensive air support schemes in the country.

A professional pilot from Cranborne complained to the Daily Echo about regularly seeing the police helicopter out in the countryside.

And Dorset Police Authority experts have also questioned whether it’s worth the cost.

Mike White said: “I am astonished in these austere days to see it flying on a daily basis around the deserted, criminal-free Dorset countryside.

Where's the helicopter been? Click for a list of flights with reason for each one...

“It’s clearly just burning up hours. I noted on one occasion last summer that it spent the duration of my golf round at Rushmore Park Golf Club in a high hover over the course.

“I can well understand the necessity for these expensive pieces of equipment, paid for by the taxpayer, in London or Manchester – but Sixpenny Handley?”

A Dorset Police spokesperson said the helicopter acted as an ‘eye in the sky’ and from January 2010 to January 2011 flew on 894 occasions, attending 1,380 incidents.

Taking off from headquarters, it can be at the scene of an incident anywhere in the force area in approximately 12 minutes, says the force.

It assists officers on the ground searching for criminals or missing people, helps to contain incidents and drops in experts.

The spokesman added: “In open countryside it takes 450 man hours to carry out a good ground search of one square mile at an approximate cost of £10,000.

“The helicopter can search the same area in 12 minutes at an approximate cost of £250.”

Last month, faced with the lowest Home Office funding in the country, Dorset’s Chief Constable Martin Baker announced the force chopper would be flying less to save £250,000.

He has also expressed support for joining a national police air support scheme after the 2012 Olympics, saving Dorset around £1million.

Janet Dover, a member of the Dorset Police Authority, said police chiefs faced a big decision, adding: “If we can save money and still be covered by a helicopter to the same level of service, that’s got to be looked at very seriously.”

Comments (27)

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1:16pm Wed 16 Feb 11

guymanda says...

Would be nice for the echo to report on actual incidents on a day by day basis that the helicopter is involved with - could also help explain the apparant crime wave that hits our coastline and poole harbour on sunny evenings when the helipcopter can be regulary seen flying over the picturesque views .......
Would be nice for the echo to report on actual incidents on a day by day basis that the helicopter is involved with - could also help explain the apparant crime wave that hits our coastline and poole harbour on sunny evenings when the helipcopter can be regulary seen flying over the picturesque views ....... guymanda

1:25pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Sam Shepherd says...

Hey guymanda.

There is a regularly updated list of flights the Dorset Police website - see the link in the story above - but the force only gives specific details of incidents they deem newsworthy (and we'd run those as stories anyway) so we wouldn't be able to tell you any more than is in their table I'm afraid.

Hope that helps!
Hey guymanda. There is a regularly updated list of flights the Dorset Police website - see the link in the story above - but the force only gives specific details of incidents they deem newsworthy (and we'd run those as stories anyway) so we wouldn't be able to tell you any more than is in their table I'm afraid. Hope that helps! Sam Shepherd

1:36pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Dorset Mitch says...

I fully understand the need for training and everytime the aircraft is scrambled onto a job but does not directly result in the catching the criminal is training.
.
Can they not use it on other tasks? Assist the air ambulance for example? Also with the possible cut to Portland Coast Guard Helicopter it might be needed a lot more!
.
Of course the other option is to charge the criminal for services used, when they are caught and sentanced they get a bill.
I fully understand the need for training and everytime the aircraft is scrambled onto a job but does not directly result in the catching the criminal is training. . Can they not use it on other tasks? Assist the air ambulance for example? Also with the possible cut to Portland Coast Guard Helicopter it might be needed a lot more! . Of course the other option is to charge the criminal for services used, when they are caught and sentanced they get a bill. Dorset Mitch

1:49pm Wed 16 Feb 11

GB916 says...

Dorset Police just cant win can they,on one day you hear people moan they dont catch criminals,on another day they moan about them catching motorists,well the helicopter is a definite asset and they raidious of the area it can scan with its camera is huge,it is needed,this has been proved,if we lose it,im sure the same people will eventually moan that the police failed to catch x amount of criminals who ran away,just no pleasing some people,i for one am quite happy to continue to pay for this valuable asset,and yes maybe they need to look at the expense and see where they can save money,but dont get rid of it.
Dorset Police just cant win can they,on one day you hear people moan they dont catch criminals,on another day they moan about them catching motorists,well the helicopter is a definite asset and they raidious of the area it can scan with its camera is huge,it is needed,this has been proved,if we lose it,im sure the same people will eventually moan that the police failed to catch x amount of criminals who ran away,just no pleasing some people,i for one am quite happy to continue to pay for this valuable asset,and yes maybe they need to look at the expense and see where they can save money,but dont get rid of it. GB916

1:52pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Huey says...

Use military pilots on training missions to assist police and air ambulance?
I regularly see or hear a Chinook flying over Ferndown.
Give the pilots practice at finding people and share the cost between forces.
Use military pilots on training missions to assist police and air ambulance? I regularly see or hear a Chinook flying over Ferndown. Give the pilots practice at finding people and share the cost between forces. Huey

1:55pm Wed 16 Feb 11

madgeman says...

Dorset Mitch wrote:
I fully understand the need for training and everytime the aircraft is scrambled onto a job but does not directly result in the catching the criminal is training. . Can they not use it on other tasks? Assist the air ambulance for example? Also with the possible cut to Portland Coast Guard Helicopter it might be needed a lot more! . Of course the other option is to charge the criminal for services used, when they are caught and sentanced they get a bill.
It's already used to take people to hospital if the air ambulance isn't available; it's landed outside my house 3 times in the last 6 months, all for taking people to hospital.
I haven't moaned about it though, but perhaps I should and just think about my own inconvenience, as it's obvious the Cranborne resident fits that category!
[quote][p][bold]Dorset Mitch[/bold] wrote: I fully understand the need for training and everytime the aircraft is scrambled onto a job but does not directly result in the catching the criminal is training. . Can they not use it on other tasks? Assist the air ambulance for example? Also with the possible cut to Portland Coast Guard Helicopter it might be needed a lot more! . Of course the other option is to charge the criminal for services used, when they are caught and sentanced they get a bill.[/p][/quote]It's already used to take people to hospital if the air ambulance isn't available; it's landed outside my house 3 times in the last 6 months, all for taking people to hospital. I haven't moaned about it though, but perhaps I should and just think about my own inconvenience, as it's obvious the Cranborne resident fits that category! madgeman

3:30pm Wed 16 Feb 11

rozmister says...

It's nice to know that when I was kept awake three nights in a row - (12th, 13th (technically the early hours of the next day and 14th Feb) it was due to a PRE-PLANNED TASK in Boscombe East. If it's PRE-PLANNED in future could Dorset Police try to plan it for an hour where they won't keep residents awake.

I assume this pre-planned task is using heat detecting equipment to look for drug factories in which case could they try and do it at say 10pm instead? They go very low over the rooftops and some of us have work in the morning!

If you're catching a criminal on the loose fine the helicopter needs to go up and search whatever the hour but otherwise show some consideration for the people you serve and go up at a reasonable time.
It's nice to know that when I was kept awake three nights in a row - (12th, 13th (technically the early hours of the next day and 14th Feb) it was due to a PRE-PLANNED TASK in Boscombe East. If it's PRE-PLANNED in future could Dorset Police try to plan it for an hour where they won't keep residents awake. I assume this pre-planned task is using heat detecting equipment to look for drug factories in which case could they try and do it at say 10pm instead? They go very low over the rooftops and some of us have work in the morning! If you're catching a criminal on the loose fine the helicopter needs to go up and search whatever the hour but otherwise show some consideration for the people you serve and go up at a reasonable time. rozmister

3:35pm Wed 16 Feb 11

ballstoit says...

I've seen it over Portland but no mention on the list of any Portland incidents?
Safe to assume a pre-planned event is a training excersize? Unless the Police are using mediums to catch criminals these days.
Why not get some civilian sponsorship on it? A great big McDonalds logo might bring in some cash.
I've seen it over Portland but no mention on the list of any Portland incidents? Safe to assume a pre-planned event is a training excersize? Unless the Police are using mediums to catch criminals these days. Why not get some civilian sponsorship on it? A great big McDonalds logo might bring in some cash. ballstoit

4:56pm Wed 16 Feb 11

captsanders says...

rozmister wrote:
It's nice to know that when I was kept awake three nights in a row - (12th, 13th (technically the early hours of the next day and 14th Feb) it was due to a PRE-PLANNED TASK in Boscombe East. If it's PRE-PLANNED in future could Dorset Police try to plan it for an hour where they won't keep residents awake.

I assume this pre-planned task is using heat detecting equipment to look for drug factories in which case could they try and do it at say 10pm instead? They go very low over the rooftops and some of us have work in the morning!

If you're catching a criminal on the loose fine the helicopter needs to go up and search whatever the hour but otherwise show some consideration for the people you serve and go up at a reasonable time.
Note to all criminals, don't break the law after 10.00pm because rozmister doesn't like being woken up.
[quote][p][bold]rozmister[/bold] wrote: It's nice to know that when I was kept awake three nights in a row - (12th, 13th (technically the early hours of the next day and 14th Feb) it was due to a PRE-PLANNED TASK in Boscombe East. If it's PRE-PLANNED in future could Dorset Police try to plan it for an hour where they won't keep residents awake. I assume this pre-planned task is using heat detecting equipment to look for drug factories in which case could they try and do it at say 10pm instead? They go very low over the rooftops and some of us have work in the morning! If you're catching a criminal on the loose fine the helicopter needs to go up and search whatever the hour but otherwise show some consideration for the people you serve and go up at a reasonable time.[/p][/quote]Note to all criminals, don't break the law after 10.00pm because rozmister doesn't like being woken up. captsanders

4:59pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Victor Meldrew Jnr says...

Long live the police Helicopter. I agree totally with GB916 Christchurch. The Helicopter does not go out for joy rides, everytime it is launched it is to do a specific job.

One thing we Brits excell at, is the ability to tell others how to do their job, when we know absolutely nothing about it.

Actually, you could become an MP.
Long live the police Helicopter. I agree totally with GB916 Christchurch. The Helicopter does not go out for joy rides, everytime it is launched it is to do a specific job. One thing we Brits excell at, is the ability to tell others how to do their job, when we know absolutely nothing about it. Actually, you could become an MP. Victor Meldrew Jnr

5:16pm Wed 16 Feb 11

EGHH says...

Dorset has such a terrible road system that the helicopter is often to only way to reach an area to monitor criminal activity until road vehicles arrive. Also when it is seen hovering over a golf course it is more than likely observing an incident some way in the distance. The cameras they use are phenomenally powerful as is the infra-red system and the night-vision equipment. Rural crime is a very present problem (ask any farmer) and the helicopter is a good way of policing. I really do hope we keep Oscar 99.
Dorset has such a terrible road system that the helicopter is often to only way to reach an area to monitor criminal activity until road vehicles arrive. Also when it is seen hovering over a golf course it is more than likely observing an incident some way in the distance. The cameras they use are phenomenally powerful as is the infra-red system and the night-vision equipment. Rural crime is a very present problem (ask any farmer) and the helicopter is a good way of policing. I really do hope we keep Oscar 99. EGHH

5:18pm Wed 16 Feb 11

WIGGINSv says...

Victor Meldrew Jnr wrote:
Long live the police Helicopter. I agree totally with GB916 Christchurch. The Helicopter does not go out for joy rides, everytime it is launched it is to do a specific job. One thing we Brits excell at, is the ability to tell others how to do their job, when we know absolutely nothing about it. Actually, you could become an MP.
I heard there was a waiting list Victor.
[quote][p][bold]Victor Meldrew Jnr[/bold] wrote: Long live the police Helicopter. I agree totally with GB916 Christchurch. The Helicopter does not go out for joy rides, everytime it is launched it is to do a specific job. One thing we Brits excell at, is the ability to tell others how to do their job, when we know absolutely nothing about it. Actually, you could become an MP.[/p][/quote]I heard there was a waiting list Victor. WIGGINSv

5:42pm Wed 16 Feb 11

rook says...

GB916 wrote:
Dorset Police just cant win can they,on one day you hear people moan they dont catch criminals,on another day they moan about them catching motorists,well the helicopter is a definite asset and they raidious of the area it can scan with its camera is huge,it is needed,this has been proved,if we lose it,im sure the same people will eventually moan that the police failed to catch x amount of criminals who ran away,just no pleasing some people,i for one am quite happy to continue to pay for this valuable asset,and yes maybe they need to look at the expense and see where they can save money,but dont get rid of it.
Spot-on!

If it's cost-effective and helps with crime detection and prevention, keep it.

P.S. if that's the word I think it is, it's the best spelling of 'radius' I've ever seen ;)
[quote][p][bold]GB916[/bold] wrote: Dorset Police just cant win can they,on one day you hear people moan they dont catch criminals,on another day they moan about them catching motorists,well the helicopter is a definite asset and they raidious of the area it can scan with its camera is huge,it is needed,this has been proved,if we lose it,im sure the same people will eventually moan that the police failed to catch x amount of criminals who ran away,just no pleasing some people,i for one am quite happy to continue to pay for this valuable asset,and yes maybe they need to look at the expense and see where they can save money,but dont get rid of it.[/p][/quote]Spot-on! If it's cost-effective and helps with crime detection and prevention, keep it. P.S. if that's the word I think it is, it's the best spelling of 'radius' I've ever seen ;) rook

5:51pm Wed 16 Feb 11

GB916 says...

Yep i noticed i spelt radius wrong,but you cant edit here lol,but it is a novel way of spelling it ha ha
Yep i noticed i spelt radius wrong,but you cant edit here lol,but it is a novel way of spelling it ha ha GB916

7:05pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Gary67 says...

Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share.

On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows...
Offender Located 5
Suspect Located 1
Task Complete 7
False Alarm 1
Cancelled on Route 3
Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found)

So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction.

I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)
Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't) Gary67

7:59pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Sue001 says...

Police helicopter? You'd hate it if you lived near Sandford. It consistently flies low over this area and all hours of the day and up until midnight. Friends who live in Holton Heath Park Homes tell me that it flies so low that they can feel the down-draft in their homes on a regular basis. Why can't they take a different route out and back? the noise nuisance is deafening.
Police helicopter? You'd hate it if you lived near Sandford. It consistently flies low over this area and all hours of the day and up until midnight. Friends who live in Holton Heath Park Homes tell me that it flies so low that they can feel the down-draft in their homes on a regular basis. Why can't they take a different route out and back? the noise nuisance is deafening. Sue001

8:44pm Wed 16 Feb 11

madgeman says...

Gary67 wrote:
Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)
If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better!
[quote][p][bold]Gary67[/bold] wrote: Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)[/p][/quote]If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better! madgeman

9:07pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Morrigan says...

Ah, I understand ow ......... you would rather have your neighbours growing cannabis in their lofts, than have the helicopter come round and catch them in the act?

Perhaps you have something to tell us about your smoking habits too then?
Ah, I understand ow ......... you would rather have your neighbours growing cannabis in their lofts, than have the helicopter come round and catch them in the act? Perhaps you have something to tell us about your smoking habits too then? Morrigan

9:17pm Wed 16 Feb 11

Gary67 says...

madgeman wrote:
Gary67 wrote: Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)
If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better!
Lots of missing people in the area then...
[quote][p][bold]madgeman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gary67[/bold] wrote: Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)[/p][/quote]If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better![/p][/quote]Lots of missing people in the area then... Gary67

9:26pm Wed 16 Feb 11

madgeman says...

Gary67 wrote:
madgeman wrote:
Gary67 wrote: Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)
If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better!
Lots of missing people in the area then...
So you'd prefer people die, if it's only one person?
[quote][p][bold]Gary67[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]madgeman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gary67[/bold] wrote: Personally I think that the helicopter isn't used in an efficient manner. You only have to look at the Police's own data that they deem worthy to share. On the link above just looking at 'Search for Suspect/s' there are 58 incidents listed, broken down as follows... Offender Located 5 Suspect Located 1 Task Complete 7 False Alarm 1 Cancelled on Route 3 Area Confirmed Clear 41 (this mean no one found) So at best 13 successful flights out of 58... not very good value & we don't even know how many of the 13 ended up in a conviction. I think its worth having just for the use as an air ambulance, but the goverment should be funding that(even though they aren't)[/p][/quote]If it's a missing person and the helicopter searches somewhere large like open heathland, and doesn't find anyone, then how can that be classed as an unsuccessful flight? They're searching for that person, ie they don't know where they are, and if they dont find them in that area then it's not a failure, it crosses a large area off the lisr. It saves lots of police and volutary teams having to do the same job, which would take a lot longer, and need a lot more people than the helicopter crew. If time is off an essence, ie it's winter time, and it's an elderly person that's missing then the quicker they come across that person the better![/p][/quote]Lots of missing people in the area then...[/p][/quote]So you'd prefer people die, if it's only one person? madgeman

10:23pm Wed 16 Feb 11

High Treason says...

Never mind the expense its still worth having to catch the scum in the area.
All the moaners about the police actualy ring the police when they have some bother. Amazing double standards. If only the police took a zero tolerance attitude and the courts dished out a flogging for the low life we could have a decent society again.
Never mind the expense its still worth having to catch the scum in the area. All the moaners about the police actualy ring the police when they have some bother. Amazing double standards. If only the police took a zero tolerance attitude and the courts dished out a flogging for the low life we could have a decent society again. High Treason

5:36am Thu 17 Feb 11

butlincat says...

The figures mean nothing - are they real or made up? How come theyre on about cutbacks yet this luxury is allowed? The cost of the thing must be astronomical and surely cant compare in any way to police or cars on the street amidst the potential crime.
An unnecassary over-expensive luxury that we have to pay for in a time where money should be spent responsibly.
The figures mean nothing - are they real or made up? How come theyre on about cutbacks yet this luxury is allowed? The cost of the thing must be astronomical and surely cant compare in any way to police or cars on the street amidst the potential crime. An unnecassary over-expensive luxury that we have to pay for in a time where money should be spent responsibly. butlincat

6:02am Thu 17 Feb 11

Boscomite says...

I can't help thinking that if a bit more was spent on the old fashioned "Bobby on the beat", in order to prevent crime. A lot could be saved, on the need to catch criminals. Just an opinion and I claim no specialist knowledge to back it up.
I can't help thinking that if a bit more was spent on the old fashioned "Bobby on the beat", in order to prevent crime. A lot could be saved, on the need to catch criminals. Just an opinion and I claim no specialist knowledge to back it up. Boscomite

8:25am Thu 17 Feb 11

seakayaker says...

The "paraffin parrot" as it is known was the brain child of Dithering Dirk Aldous and has been a waste of money ever since despite the outlandish claims made about it. In analysis of one August it flew for an average of only 80 mins a day and was significantly instrumental in only three arrests: a drink driver and two minor thefts. It's a waste of money but don't expect Baker to really do anything about it. He says anything for a good headline and continues to waste money like it's going out of fashion
The "paraffin parrot" as it is known was the brain child of Dithering Dirk Aldous and has been a waste of money ever since despite the outlandish claims made about it. In analysis of one August it flew for an average of only 80 mins a day and was significantly instrumental in only three arrests: a drink driver and two minor thefts. It's a waste of money but don't expect Baker to really do anything about it. He says anything for a good headline and continues to waste money like it's going out of fashion seakayaker

8:53am Thu 17 Feb 11

APC303 says...

It used to fly over where I used to live in Parkstone all the time. Never caused me any bother or lack of sleep.

It's good value for money. Whiners: stop whining.
It used to fly over where I used to live in Parkstone all the time. Never caused me any bother or lack of sleep. It's good value for money. Whiners: stop whining. APC303

9:33am Thu 17 Feb 11

JamesBond0070 says...

I am an ex-Parkstone resident now
living in Calgary, Canada where they have had a police helicopter for the last twenty-six years. It took the police many years to learn how to fully
utilise their helicopter, but after twenty
years there was serious debate about
if a second one was required. Calgary
has about the same population of Poole
and Bournemouth combined, and you
have the sea as an additional hazard
over there, that we do not have. I say,
just give it time, and your police
helicopter will be a very busy craft
indeed!!
I am an ex-Parkstone resident now living in Calgary, Canada where they have had a police helicopter for the last twenty-six years. It took the police many years to learn how to fully utilise their helicopter, but after twenty years there was serious debate about if a second one was required. Calgary has about the same population of Poole and Bournemouth combined, and you have the sea as an additional hazard over there, that we do not have. I say, just give it time, and your police helicopter will be a very busy craft indeed!! JamesBond0070

5:21pm Thu 17 Feb 11

bmb says...

Must say I was very grateful for the helicopter after my autistic son decided to run off from school and was missing for several hours. The police helicopter located him about 6 miles away from the school hiding in a ditch under a hedge. He would have been found sooner if it had been called in earlier than it was because once they called it in he was found within half an hour. I'm sure that was much more cost effective as well than the whole of poole police on alert driving around looking for him. All those whinging about it lets hope you never need it's help in the future hey...
Must say I was very grateful for the helicopter after my autistic son decided to run off from school and was missing for several hours. The police helicopter located him about 6 miles away from the school hiding in a ditch under a hedge. He would have been found sooner if it had been called in earlier than it was because once they called it in he was found within half an hour. I'm sure that was much more cost effective as well than the whole of poole police on alert driving around looking for him. All those whinging about it lets hope you never need it's help in the future hey... bmb

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