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NPAS 2017 news

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NPAS 2017 news

Old 6th Apr 2017, 12:36
  #101 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Audit equals numbers equals stats.
So how do you quantify negative searches, or reassurance patrols, or deterrent.
How about a little bit of TRUST. We are a minuscule organisation compared to that of the NHS. My rather poor attempt at sarcasm was to highlight that it's an utter waste of time to try.
Once again, drones have their place, but do not wonder on to a forum espousing "knowledge" and not expect to be asked to show your working.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 13:36
  #102 (permalink)  
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I'm absolutely in agreement with you that there should be an independent audit into what NPAS is actually achieving.

I can't offer you figures because I haven't been involved in police aviation for some years. I merely wanted to assure you that they save lives and are responsible for arrests at a higher rate than you may have imagined. Or, at least, they were; I'm not in a position to know if they still are.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 15:05
  #103 (permalink)  
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Thanks MaxR

Rotate too late: there are a number of organisations who offer independant audit of all sorts of industries. In addition university departments produce independant research on a daily basis of similar issues. No I am not willing to just trust you. Size is irrelevant. You are spending money in competition to other publicly funded bodies and like them must be open to audit. Thalidomide occurred due to a belief in trust rather than audit.....

I am not pretending to have any knowledge at all of PAS save my interaction via air ambulance work. I merely asked about drones based on a lecture at the RAeS. I have made my point and this thread is becoming repetitive so I will withdraw.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 20:55
  #104 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by homonculus View Post
SS. The answers are:

dont know
the other end of the uplink
my views on police being doctors are well known
fire and ambulance can do it

My point, being a little more serious, was that there is a need to consider the proper spending of taxpayers' money. Nobody is suggesting a drone could do all tasks but if they could do a significant proportion that would still save money, stop Jay winging because more helicopter missions would be worthwhile, and stop that pestering noise over my bedroom hour after hour!!
Hospital A and E is another area where public money is wasted.

Over 75% are actually non emergencies and at weekends the result of over indulgunce in drink.

For real serious police work NPAS are a vital tool.

However they appear from their twitter posts to be at the trivial but very expensive end of crime fighting.

Some more tweets here from NPAS.

NPAS London‏ @NPASLondon
#NPAS62 called to Hungerford Bridge to male wanting to jump in the river. Male located and talked local officers to him & led of bridge.
So how was a helicopter crew going to help that case? Locals saw him,reported it and ground officers talked him down.

Here is a typical London police helicopter operation.

[quote]NPAS London‏ @NPASLondon
Over Central London for a number of demonstrations. We are providing downlink imagery. Are we being watched?�� [QUOTE]

This was a London demonstration by the right wing English Defence League. I take it that was the most exciting picture the NPAS crew obtained. On a par with a normal day in Trafalgar Square.

The truth is it was.

At least 14 people have been arrested after rival groups clashed during protests in central London, the Metropolitan police have said.

Fewer than 300 members of the far-right groups Britain First and the English Defence League turned up for their “march against terrorism”, a turnout castigated by opponents as a lame attempt to whip up Islamophobia in the wake of the Westminster attack.
source https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...o-london-march
The route is listed below but all covered by hundreds of ground based CCTV monitored by the Metropolitan Police.

The helicopter used for the above demonstration was superfluous to the CCTV and officers on the ground unless the protest march got out of hand? A couple of
freelance drone operators would have saved thousands of pounds of taxpayers money.

Why not wait to launch the helicopter if it was needed?

However the Met Police like to pull out all the toys in the box for high profile events while ignoring drug dealing street criminals,organised knife gangs and over 94% of burglaries they fail to solve.

If police aviation really did solve more than petty crime then the various Police Camera Action tv shows producers would have focussed on that. The reality is most NPAS operations are routine,boring and very expensive.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 6th Apr 2017 at 21:35.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 21:38
  #105 (permalink)  
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homunculus, I don't think you need to withdraw, as a taxpayer you have every right to expect the police to use their funds wisely.

As a number of previous posters have pointed out, the trouble is that whether air support is cost effective, (however it is delivered, helicopter, fixed wing, hover bike or 'drone') is rather subjective. One thing you can be sure of though is that police air support is subject to more financial scrutiny now, than it ever was before.
I'm sure that once all the interested parties (PCC's CC's and the Home Office to name but a few), agree on what (if anything) they would like air support to deliver, then they can work out the targets/standards/metrics against which a practical audit could be carried out. Until that is done, it's a bit like trying to determine whether the nuclear deterrent is cost effective!

Some of the points made by you and Jay (on his very successful fishing trip), are not just issues for police air support but issues for the police in general. I suspect most members of the general public have very little idea how much time the police devote to searching for vulnerable missing people.

The 'discussions' about whether searching for or pursuing, stolen cars is a sensible use of police resources is aways both interesting and entertaining. There are very few forces out there that wouldn't rather drop the whole dangerous game but for the fact that an awful lot of crime involves cars, if only as a mode of transport to and from the scene of the offence! Some considerations regarding crime and vehicles are listed below.

When a police officer becomes aware of a vehicle of interest it may be because the number plate of the car has markers on to suggest all manner of reasons that the car and driver should be stopped (being stolen is only one of them). It may be that a member of the public has reported a similar car to the police and all police officers on duty are notified to be on the lookout for such a car over the modern equivalent of the wireless radio.

Other than that, a police officer may notice a car because of the manner of driving. This generally takes three forms:-

1. The driver is obeying the street rule 'drive it like you stole it'. This often takes the form of driving in a highly dangerous manner putting other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians etc at great risk.

2. The driver is driving in a highly suspicious manner (this is frequently determined using the highly successful but now much discredited 'coppers intuition or hunch'). When members of the public driving in this way are requested to stop by the police, then, should they adopt the driving manner described in point 1 above, that is normally regarded as corroboration that the police officers 'hunch' was correct.

3. The driver and/or his (or her) passengers are recognised as being miscreants or ne'er-do-wells or known criminals or are wearing stripey pullovers and are observed carrying bags with the word 'swag' written on them. (in my part of the country an oversized flat cap would also be cause for suspicion).

It always strikes me as amusing that a number of members of the public would fully expect the police to attempt to apprehend a person who has just carried out a raid on say, a jewellers shop and run off with 30 grands worth of Ratners finest bling, yet feel that devoting the same effort to stop someone who purloins 30 grands worth of fine Bavarian engineering is wrong!

For Jay in particular, if he has such strong views (and wind up or not, his views are perfectly valid), about the sort of tasks he believes the police should prioritise, he really ought to consider putting himself up for office when the next set of Police and Crime Commissioner elections take place. Then he could determine whether his views strike a chord with the huge numbers of voters that take part in those elections (unless he lives in London of course, where he will have to try for the Mayors job)!
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 22:05
  #106 (permalink)  
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Many thanks for that considered reply Handysnaks.

My input here is not a fishing trip. The EDL April 1st debacle above is a fine example of how police
money was wasted on a non event. The tabloids could have had a great time on that particular expensive taxpayer funded episode but they missed it.

Why was a helicopter called in to hover over an event when there were only a few hundred protesters?

What did the operation cost?

At what level was it sanctioned?

Is the noise profile of Met helicopter ops monitered?

Perhaps questions best put to Cressida Dick.

My main question is why are mispers and car crime prioritised?

Report a burglary with thousands of pounds worth of stuff stolen from a shed and you get a crime number. Imagine having a couple of expensive motorbikes plus perhaps a ride on mower and a caravan taken from the drive! I can guarantee that will not get a NPAS launch or appearance on tv.

Phone up and suggest your uncle is missing and he drinks a lot,has suicidal episodes plus you have not heard from him for three days and the police control room goes in to overdrive to launch the helicopter.

He usually turns up the next day with a hangover at a friends house.

Surely the best helicopter to look for "vulnerable" persons is the Air Ambulance?

Drones to replace the constant throb of Met launched air support and helicopters doing the serious genuine criminal stuff out in the countryside?

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 6th Apr 2017 at 22:24.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 22:38
  #107 (permalink)  
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Jay, it may not be an intentional fishing trip, but it is a successful inadvertant one (and by my own informal rules, as I am responding, then you have another bite to add to the list, well done). Mispers are prioritised if there is perceived to be a threat to their (the missing persons), life. The first duty of the police officer is 'to save life'. I don't believe that 'car crime' is prioritised, but to use your own example, when some one 'does your garden shed over', they are likely to put the booty in a vehicle! At that point a car becomes involved, so would you classify that as car crime?
Regarding whether or not a helicopter would respond to a break in to a garden shed, all I can say (from my limited experience), is that if called by the force whilst the job is 'live', yes, there is a very good chance a helicopter would respond (depending of course on a number of variables). However, if you arrive home after work, to find that your shed was broken into some time in the previous eight hours, and the offenders are long gone, then I'm pretty sure that unless the offenders made off with a precious, life sized day-glo dinosaur, no.
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Old 6th Apr 2017, 23:11
  #108 (permalink)  

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JS, more than once you have written things that seem to indicate that you prioritise the value of property over the value of human life. Hence the rebuttals.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 07:44
  #109 (permalink)  
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"Surely the best helicopter to look for "vulnerable" persons is the Air Ambulance?"

DUH........Exactly how many Air ambulances are fitted with cameras?

If you did fit them with cameras, what would you remove to maintain payload, ...the oxygen bottles? Maybe the paramedic?

Exactly how many air ambulances are publicly-owned, and therefore potentially taskable?

What will the air ambulance do when it finds someone who might or might not be the missing person walking on a remote beach at 2 am?
Maybe we need to fit the air ambulance with police radios as well as a camera?
Come to think of it, we could paint the air ambulance blue & yellow, and write "police" on the side whilst we are at it.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 09:38
  #110 (permalink)  

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Strangely enough, before there were air ambulances, police helicopters were often used for that purpose.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 10:34
  #111 (permalink)  
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Jay - perhaps you haven't noticed but the security level in UK is SEVERE - that means a terrorist attack could occur at any time. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realise that the Capital is a prime target - hence the police helicopter will be used for pretty much any event as both a deterrent and and immediate reaction platform for observation/communications.

You seem to be happy with having a police presence in London but just don't like the noise (frankly it is insignificant compared to the traffic noise) - perhaps you should understand it is about keeping you and yours safe and that it is actually a very good way to spend taxpayer's money.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 14:07
  #112 (permalink)  
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Jay - I have come to the conclusion that you are either unable or unwilling to understand and, therefore, I shall leave the field of play and allow you to carry on typing drivel.

Please feel free to PM me with your name and address and those of your relatives and I will pass them on to the appropriate forces so that if ever you are the victim of crime or a vulnerable family member goes missing they will know that you object to the use of the helicopter and do not wish it to be deployed.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 16:42
  #113 (permalink)  
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Jay, it's almost not worth bothering to post replies to you because you come across in this thread as a bitter mental Pygmy (no offence intended to pygmies).

However, the reason why the helicopter is airborne DURING a targeted event is for DETERRANT. now I know you will not accept this point because it's juxtaposition to your case. You do not understand INTELLIGENCE either. And I mean the "Gathering, assessing and processing of information"

Handysnacks - loved the Dayglo dinasoar analogy. And with I believe over 20 years flying with the Boys in Blue you are more...than little experienced.

Jay. Just say one nice thing about the Police Helicopter! For balance so you stop sounding "Unbalanced"
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 21:24
  #114 (permalink)  
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I understand this thread is mostly about police aircrew ,both pilots and observers, with a vested interest in keeping their jobs.

What I find hard to take on board is the fact that air ambulances are funded from charity donations. These helicopters save lives every day.

Missing person operations are really closer to air ambulance work than the police.However the police air ops justify a substantial chunk of police budgets and taxpayers money via their mispers.

If missing persons,stolen cars and petty crime were removed from police air operations the numbers would suggest more budget cuts.

Perhaps the way forward is a combined police and air ambulance with the latter having priority.

On a final note the suggestion that a security high alert re terrorists somehow justifies huge sums spent on the helicopter operations over London every day is bunkum.

The incident in Westminster a few weeks ago and todays Sweden attacks demonstrate that
the money needs to be spent on the ground and not in the air.

In closing let me direct you to this BBC story that really sums up my point.

I like this paragraph.

It normally tweets pictures of the London skyline or enjoys a bit of banter with other police forces but one official police account is in trouble for posting an aerial picture of Michael McIntyre.
The image was taken from the sky by a police helicopter and posted by the National Police Air Support Unit's Twitter account - @NPASLondon.
It's claimed the comedian's privacy was invaded as he didn't know it was going to be published.
The post showing the comedian has since been deleted.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 21:50
  #115 (permalink)  

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JS, you seem to be stuck on transmit.

I too was supportive of your views on the TCT thread, but not here; you are falling wide of the mark because of what appears to be a personal bias.

By your measure, we should also get rid of our military in peacetime and our air ambulances on a quiet day.

P.S. I'm not trying to save my job. I fly corporate because the police can't, or won't pay decent salary for the quality of the people they need.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 22:07
  #116 (permalink)  
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I think you and others are missing my point.

The problems with NPAS and deployment has nothing to do with the crews.

The EDL protest did not warrant getting a helicopter airborne for 300 protesters.

If we have reached a point in society that the police have to have an expensive piece of kit
constantly flying over central London every day then it is time for me to leave.

Every single square metre of central London has cctv surveillance.

I do not have a personal bias but just wonder if some of the wasted high tech helicopter budget would be better deployed at a basic street level?

What was the justification in filming Michael McIntyre?
Here is an example of street crime where police really need to focus on the major issues.

A disabled gran was brutally beaten with a baseball and threatened by a knife-wielding thug in a terrifying ordeal over her son's 100 cannabis debt.

Gran-of-three Barbara Dransfield was put on a life support machine and left in a coma for two weeks after she was mercilessly beaten.

She was sitting in her wheelchair at her home in Ashton-under-Lyne when a masked gang raided her home, report the Manchester Evening News.

Minshull Street Crown Court was told how she was savagely beaten after her son, Daniel, ran up a 100 cannabis debt.
A bit of low cost policing might be better than helicopters chasing car theft and petty crime in Manchester.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 7th Apr 2017 at 22:19.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 22:37
  #117 (permalink)  
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"Perhaps the way forward is a combined police and air ambulance with the latter having priority."
Nope - thats the way back - Pretty sure that is what I was doing in 2003!
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 22:52
  #118 (permalink)  
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Jay, I can accept the fact that you don't want there to be as many/ any, police helicopters.

The air ambulances are funded by charity (in England and Wales),because people are willing to put their hand in their pockets to do so. You seem very keen on the state running a tight ship and not wasting money, so surely this method of fundng is agreeable to you?

You may (or may not), be aware that air ambulance and HEMs work is regarded under ICAO rules, as a commercial operation. So police aviation beng a state run operation is not permitted to get too involved in it, we can carry out life saving CASEVAC flights, but that is about it.

With regard to the involvement of air ambulance aircraft in searching for missing persons, I think the limitations of air ambulances for that sort of work have been more than adequately explained, I would just add that the charitable organisations that run air ambulance operations very successfully are alway open to new ideas. I'm sure yours would be well received.

However, your point about other agencies assisting in searching for 'mispers' is actually a very good one. For example I have long thought that it might be a suitable area for the Fire Service to get involved in, i see more and more of their vehicles displaying a 'Fire and Recue' logo so it might be right up their street!

For what it's worth, quite a few years ago the police authority for which I worked, did give consideration to whether our air operations unit should evolve into an emergency services unit, with an ability to provide cover to all three of the inland emergency services, but the fact that we could not really participate in air ambulance work put paid to the idea before it was worth committing anything to paper!

I would just finish with a request. You have stated that you are not against police aviation, just the number of aircraft and some of the work we do. I would be interested to know what role you think police aviation should carry out (bearing in mind the point about us not competing in the air ambulance/HEMS market)?
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 23:08
  #119 (permalink)  
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Thanks for your considered reply Handysnacks.

My thoughts are that a joined up and coordinated service is the way forward.

I am not anti police ops just anti waste of money.

I thought the original police model where they leased time on basic 206's 20 years ago was cost effective.

The trouble is once you start to take operations in house the costs go through the roof.

Twin turbine helicopters plus support are very expensive.

How would you allocate the money.
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Old 7th Apr 2017, 23:18
  #120 (permalink)  
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Well, 20 years ago (in the UK at least), there were no Police 206,'s
Assuming that we have some helicopters, then they need to be twin engined (for night operations).
I take it you are not really clear on what you would like a Jay run Police air operation to do?
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