Ripley police helicopter’s 127 arrests

Derbyshire Police’s helicopter crew based in Ripley helped to arrest 127 crime suspects this year.

Seventy-four suspects were detained as a direct result of the helicopter’s attendance, and a further 53 were located with the aircraft’s assistance.

Between January 1 and October 31 the crews also assisted to locate 12 vulnerable missing people, airlifted three casualties to hospital and spent a total of 232 hours in the air dealing with incidents across the county.

Derbyshire Constabulary joined the central region of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) on October 2.

Prior to that it was the North Midlands Helicopter Support Unit and was jointly owned by Derbyshire Constabulary and Nottinghamshire Police.

The helicopter is still based at Derbyshire police headquarters in Ripley.

John Jameson, Central Region Manager, said: “The helicopter brings a dimension to policing which can’t be achieved by conventional methods. Thanks to the crews, many suspects were apprehended who may have evaded capture if the helicopter had not attended an incident.

“Since the force joined NPAS in October, the police helicopter continues to operate from Ripley and a relief helicopter is available when our aircraft is out of service. With economies of scale that such an organisation brings and with the nearest helicopter attending an incident, Derbyshire now has an even more effective service at a reduced cost.”

Last year the crew helped to find 214 crime suspects in Derbyshire.