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UK NPAS - The Decline

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UK NPAS - The Decline

Old 15th Jun 2015, 14:54
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UK NPAS - The Decline

Since the UK NPAS discussion thread is closed.

An article from the Eastern Daily Press lamenting the effective absence of police air cover for Norfolk and surrounding areas. Only a matter of time before major cities are the only areas considered worthy of police air support.

Norfolk has one of worst police helicopter response times in country - and it?s going to get worse - News - Eastern Daily Press

Seems to be one of the better press articles published on this matter.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 17:56
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Oh goody, another NPAS knocking story (or the fuel for the fire). Has it occurred to any of you nay sayers that we are better off now than we would have been had the old, Force funded Air Service been allowed to continue and how corrosive your constant negative comments are. There are individuals out there who are working extremely hard to provide the best service they can within their resources, it is about time you either presented your points to those that have sway in these areas, provided the money yourself to get the service you want or simply STFU.
Hurrumph.
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Old 15th Jun 2015, 19:18
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Police aviation seemingly flourished under a left(ish) wing government, while the last five years have seen progressive cutbacks in the interests of efficiency by the party that claims to uphold the rule of law and order.

I certainly have addressed my concerns directly to my local MP, only to be met with such comments as the crime level in Norfolk and surrounding counties has fallen, so police air cover is superfluous and does not represent an efficient use of resources.

My personal experience is that helicopters are more efficiently deployed over more open ground and countryside than over densely populated inner city areas, although I respect that other people claim the opposite is true. All citizens are entitled to expect their local police force to have adequate resources on call when needed and with similar response times across the country. Rural and remote areas are precisely those that can most benefit from the rapid transit times of helicopters.

I would suggest that far from knocking NPAS, the story illustrates that the reorganisation offers adequate cover only for the powerful who hold the purse strings and represents a backward step in the capabilities of law enforcement generally for the rest of the populance.
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Old 16th Jun 2015, 10:38
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Originally Posted by G0ULI View Post
Police aviation seemingly flourished under a left(ish) wing government, while the last five years have seen progressive cutbacks in the interests of efficiency by the party that claims to uphold the rule of law and order.

I certainly have addressed my concerns directly to my local MP, only to be met with such comments as the crime level in Norfolk and surrounding counties has fallen, so police air cover is superfluous and does not represent an efficient use of resources.

My personal experience is that helicopters are more efficiently deployed over more open ground and countryside than over densely populated inner city areas, although I respect that other people claim the opposite is true. All citizens are entitled to expect their local police force to have adequate resources on call when needed and with similar response times across the country. Rural and remote areas are precisely those that can most benefit from the rapid transit times of helicopters.

I would suggest that far from knocking NPAS, the story illustrates that the reorganisation offers adequate cover only for the powerful who hold the purse strings and represents a backward step in the capabilities of law enforcement generally for the rest of the populance.
Yes it has been hard times and lots of toes (and careers) have been trodden on, but the road NPAS are travelling is still not at the end so though we may have detrimental opinions we on the outside cannot see where it really might end up.
It is worth noting that the force areas making the most noise at the moment are those with the least demonstrated requirement for air support.
Dyfed with around 300 hours and the same with Norfolk and Suffolk.
How were they able to ensure that those meagre 300 hours a year were always available at the right times?
Well they were not were they!
In each case of emergency need they either did without or they called in the neighbours. SAEW for Dyfed and Essex for East Anglia that's why there was a preexisting consortium.
They now call that mutual aid set up NPAS......
Time will decide
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Old 16th Jun 2015, 17:45
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PAN - To suggest that Norfolk and, particularly, Suffolk had to call on Essex pre-NPAS is, given your supposed position of knowledge on all things Air Support, at best disingenuous.
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Old 16th Jun 2015, 20:15
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I do not live in Suffolk or Norfolk but have personally witnessed both Suffolk and Cambridge aircraft flying over my house on the edge of the MPD on seperate occasions prior to the creation of NPAS. That was the basis of the consortium, mutual aid.

As you may be suggesting I am not able to substantiate in like manner any reverse traffic for a need of air support - or indeed any need for such air support beyond perhaps hare coursing.
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Old 16th Jun 2015, 21:00
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Anyone know WHY the "UK NPAS discussion thread: MK 5" was closed ?

Just when it was getting interesting again about new Bases being announced,
or Closed, or announced and then not openiing, etc

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Old 16th Jun 2015, 22:01
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Silsoe going into meltdown I think.
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Old 16th Jun 2015, 22:08
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Has it occurred to any of you nay sayers that we are better off now than we would have been had the old, Force funded Air Service been allowed to continue
I'm not so sure. Take the last round of cuts that are going to take NPAS down to 15 bases. As a separate organisation, they had to to make X% cuts, so they had no option but to close bases. If Air Support had still been on a Force basis, those Forces could have chosen how and where to make those cuts. I suspect that we may have had a few more than 15 ASUs still up and running.

Of course, I could be talking bo**ocks.
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 00:11
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The Reason For This Thread?

The time for discussion about UK NPAS is over. The decisions have been made and are being implemented.

It is still useful to have a thread to collect UK NPAS news and comments and to see how the predicted performance of the reorganisation pans out.
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 06:31
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Originally Posted by G0ULI View Post
The time for discussion about UK NPAS is over. ... ...
No such thing. I think you mean England and Wales NPAS. Or, increasingly, England NPAS.
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 07:07
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Originally Posted by Coconutty View Post
Anyone know WHY the "UK NPAS discussion thread: MK 5" was closed ?

Just when it was getting interesting again about new Bases being announced,
or Closed, or announced and then not openiing, etc

Unfortunately SS deleted the thread, as he was the thread starter. I undeleted and closed it as the history of posts was too important to lose.
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 15:17
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G0ULI, "Police aviation seemingly flourished under a left(ish) wing government"......and so did the rest of the nation because that government borrowed money with an utter disregard for the consequences. It is the last and this government that are now reaping the discourse of that economic irresponsibility, and there is little choice but to pass this on to the Nation in the form of cuts in Publicly funded areas. We are where we are.
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 17:37
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Sloppylink, I totally agree. In the late 1990s we had a very effective police support helicopter service in place and at a pretty good price (or at least, my unit was seen to be very good value; possibly because it covered two counties and provided coverage for at least two others when requested).

It wasn't the present government who !$$ed taxpayers' money against the wall until there was none left and we couldn't afford what was already in place (ironically, initially put there to make the police more effective whilst saving money for the tax payer....).
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Old 17th Jun 2015, 18:50
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Thanks for that update SP.

I for one hope Sid continues to contribute.

I know some of his posts are controversial and may not be shared by all,
but he has also made many valid arguments and valuable contributions
based on his "inside" information and expert knowledge,
dspite being tethered by the confines of what he is "permitted" to say.

I have enjoyed reading and contemplating many of his posts,
especially if you weed out some of the rhetoric.

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Old 18th Jun 2015, 13:30
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Sloppy Link, Shy Torque - Couldn't agree more. Well said.
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Old 24th Jun 2015, 08:30
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How much does NPAs charge the NHS for Patient Transfers ?

Yesterday evening Twitter Posts - Interesting :

NPAS Exeter : Transport Patient (from) Treliske (Devon) to NPAS Filton for
NPAS HusBos to take Patient to Sheffield Hospital for Transplant. Patient delivered in time.
https://twitter.com/npas_exeter

and

NPAS HusBos : First job of late shift was to transport someone requiring a Kidney transplant
from Bristol to Sheffield for an operation. A bit Different !
https://twitter.com/npas_husbos

LOTS of questions spring to mind, like how much NPAS are charging the NHS for this service,
especially taking into account the impact and loss of service with ( Police ) aircraft being off-line
and unavailable for Policing Operations ( that are being paid for by respective Forces ) for several hours.

AND, what does the "new" PAOM say about "Patient Transfers" ?
Was this an immediate threat to the life of the patient ?
( IIRC Patient Transfers were not previously permitted under the PAOC,
but "Casevacs" in immediately life threatening circumstances could be carried out )

And, Is this a new practice to be adopted by NPAS to try and bolster the coffers by charging the NHS for such services,
at the expense of an even further reduced service to the Police ?

And, What alternative measures were put in place by NPAS "Command" to provide Police Air Support cover
in the areas that the 2 aircraft carying out this Patient Transfer would otherwise have been covering ?

And, why was this task not performed by one of the many Air Ambulances along the route(s),
or why was this Task not performed by Military / Coast guard etc ?

The decline of NPAS ?

Nail
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Old 24th Jun 2015, 16:29
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As an aside, Treliske Hospital is in Truro, Cornwall, which leads to a very long transit. Up to not very long ago for a job like that a yellow (or grey/red RN) helo would have been the most likely conveyance, although the NHS would probably have been charged under the arcane and quite mysterious Treasury rules. Now of course SAR is a civilian organisation (as is NPAS) so, by the sounds of it, the lines are getting even more blurred.

However, as NtD alludes to below, is this a sensible usage of police dedicated resources? Who would have picked up the pieces if there was an urgent police requirement in the west? I'm only an interested bystander now but it seems to be a dilution of the task (or maybe just additional tasks being added piecemeal).

Equally of note, during my time on SAR in Norfolk (showing my age as this was many years ago) we provided a lot of assistance to the police in searches and the like, and led to very close cooperation. This usage of course did not appear in any police stats as it was almost all ad hoc; unfortunately it ceased almost as soon as police helicopters started appearing
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Old 24th Jun 2015, 16:55
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This usage of course did not appear in any police stats as it was almost all ad hoc; unfortunately it ceased almost as soon as police helicopters started appearing
As did the little publicised training of police and fire service air observers using RAF aircraft.
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Old 24th Jun 2015, 17:42
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Shackman - a small correction, milsar is still there in the SW - Chiv is open until 30 Sep 15 and Culdrose SAR until Jan 16.

I am surprised that SAR aircraft were not used for those transfers and I can only assume the ARCCK said no because they were not life threatening illnesses.
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