HAVING lived in Weymouth for many years I have to comment on police helicopter night flights.

It is certainly a contentious issue. Police need to do their work and that can often be at night. But we should not deny this has a social cost with high levels of night time noise drumming down on homes.

In Weymouth and Portland areas we had night training exercises causing no end of sleepless nights. And that was with Chinooks which are far larger than police helicopters.

In a survey carried out by the Helicopter Noise Coalition, 89 per cent of respondents said they found helicopter noise far more intrusive than other forms of noise. 36 per cent had considered moving because of helicopter noise.

It all very much depends where you live and how many flights you get.

Go back to 2005 and police helicopter flights at night were banned over some parts of the Purbecks.

The district council said that council welcomed the recognition of “potentially serious noise impact on residents”.

And national media, July last year: “Police face growing pressure to ground noisy helicopters and use drones with 2,500 flights over London in one year.”

Noise pollution from helicopters: “The noise level generated by low flying police helicopters in the early hours has become unbearable.”

Campaign Against Helicopter Noise: “For every case dealt with at night using helicopters thousands can have their night’s sleep destroyed.”

And what do we say to a police helicopter deployed at night to pursue a stolen car? Yes its a crime and any one of us would be glad police caught the culprit and got their car back safely.

But an hour’s flight over an urban area will be at the cost of waking many hundreds or thousands.

A contentious issue, with two sides. Drones it seems could be the solution.

Still loud but not as loud as an 18 metre rotor blade, driven by a 3,000hp engine, beating the air at 500rpm.


Hamilton Rd, Poole