We asked Wrexham.com’ers what they thought the main use for the police helicopter was, and had varied replies from ‘the football’, ‘missing persons’, ‘finding lost pets’ and ‘delivering kebabs to the people of Brymbo’. After we put a Freedom Of Information request in, we can detail the stats!
The North Wales Police helicopter has recovered around £80,000 worth of stolen property and helped locate 79 missing people over the past year.
The figures for 2011 and 2012 to date were revealed to Wrexham.com by police under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
The air support costs for the force came to £1,696,059 in 2011/12 broken down into £1,297,015 on staff, premises, fuel, helicopter maintenance and running costs and £399,044 in leasing costs.
2051 incidents were attended by the helicopter during the period and it travelled for a total 1018 hours tackling a range of crime from public order issues at football matches to hydroponics related activities e.g. searching for drugs farms.
The majority of time spent by the “LLPD chopper” as we have christened involved looking for missing persons which accounted for 516 of its flights, around a quarter of the total amount.
Close behind were suspect searches with 376 and vehicle searches with 112.
Hydroponics (117) and gathering photo/video evidence (107) also ranked pretty highly in the activity log.
The chopper also spent a small amount of its time dabbling in PR (3), familiarisation (1) and maintenance flights (39).
The North Wales Police helicopter activity log can be view in full below: