Police bosses insist there will be ‘no gap’ when Lancashire’s helicopter base shuts

The Lancashire Constabulary helicopter
The Lancashire Constabulary helicopter
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Police bosses insist there will be no gap in air cover when Lancashire’s only helicopter base shuts next month.

Operations are now being wound down at Warton with flights set to end in early April.

Campaigners fighting to retain the base, which had been the home of the Lancashire Police helicopter before duties were passed to the National Police Air Service (NPAS), admitted defeat in January.

And now final preparations are being made to transfer the county’s operations to bases in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.

NPAS insists it has invested significantly in new aircraft to provide a 24/7 service to all forces.

Chief Superintendent Tyron Joyce, Chief Operating Officer for the National Police Air Service said: “The National Police Air Service (NPAS) is a unique national collaboration across England and Wales providing a truly borderless service. It is tasked with supporting police forces across England and Wales to keep communities safe.

“In 2014, along with other areas of policing, NPAS was required to make significant savings.

“On this occasion the saving we need to make is 14 per cent of the revenue cost within three years.

“We will continue to maintain essential air support but at a significantly reduced cost to the public.”

Following the changes the service insists that it will be we will still be able to reach 92 per cent of the population within 20 minutes and 97 per cent within 30 minutes.

Chief Superintendent Joyce also paid tribute to the staff of Warton for their professionalism over the years.