Reductions in NPAS provision within England and Wales

We learnt yesterday that following a review of NPAS (National Police Air Service) provision within England and Wales, the NPAS helicopter currently operating from BAE Systems Warton is to be withdrawn in the immediate future.

This will obviously impact upon Police helicopter provision within the north west, with NPAS Barton remaining to maintain Police helicopter coverage in the entire north west region.

NPAS Warton and its predecessor, the Lancashire Constabulary Air Support Unit, has operated proudly for twenty years in support of Police operations in Lancashire and the north west, and throughout this time we have established close operational links on a multitude of incidents and training exercises.

With budgetary restrictions now commonplace in all aspects of society, such is also occurring now within frontline emergency service provision.

It is the hope of ourselves that the fantastic support we currently have from NPAS Warton and NPAS Barton, will be maintained in the future following this review.

(In the not too distant past, prior to the establishment of NPAS, there existed in the north west, Police Helicopter Air Support Units maintained by Greater Manchester Police, Merseyside Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary. Both Greater Manchester Police and Cheshire Constabulary also operated a Police Fixed Wing Air Support Unit)