Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner has today paid a flying visit to the National Police Air Service base in Manchester ahead of the unit’s deployment to the Merseyside Derby.
Cllr Emily Spurrell met the team who are part of the National Police Air Service airbase at Barton in Manchester to find out more about their work to keep communities primarily across the North-West safe. The visit came as the unit was preparing to provide air support to Merseyside Police at the FA cup 3rd round match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield this evening.
The National Police Air Service (NPAS) provide borderless air support to all 46 police forces of England and Wales from a network of 15 bases. The service was formed in October 2012 following a national review of air support conducted by the Home Office in 2009.
Emily’s visit gave her the chance to talk to members of the team about how the service operates, including the requirements and demands placed on the crew, and discuss the governance structures which regulate how the service is used by Merseyside Police and forces around the country.
The meeting comes just over a month after independent watchdog Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services released a report highlighting the need for police leaders to review the current collaborative arrangements governing how NPAS operates.
Emily said: “The National Police Air Service has come a long way since its inception in 2012, and on significantly reduced funds. It is currently under the spotlight following the recent report by HMICFRS inspectors who have highlighted the need for police leaders to look again at the way the service operates.
“This visit gave me the chance to talk to the people on the ground, who operate the service day in, day out, and find out more about how it works and how they think improvements could be made to continue to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the service.
“This was a really worthwhile and interesting visit which gave me a valuable insight into the demands placed on our air support service. It was clear to me that those who run the service from NPAS Barton are highly skilled and dedicated to their work supporting the police service in keeping our communities safe and I thank them for their time today ahead of tonight’s Derby match.”
Chief Superintendent Tyron Joyce, Chief Operating Officer for the National Police Air Service said: “Emily’s visit provided the opportunity to find out more about the National Police Air Service which is the first-ever national policing collaboration. Borderless 24/7/365 air support is provided to the 46 forces of England and Wales from a national network of 15 bases.
“As the National Police Air Service is a pathfinder the journey has been challenging but we have learnt a lot along the way. Crews are dedicated to keeping communities safe by providing the best possible service with the available resources in line with threat, harm and risk assessments, including attending events such as tonight’s Derby match.
“Due to the formation of the National Police Air Service assets can be drawn upon, including crews and aircraft, across England and Wales. UK policing also now receives an unprecedented air support service in times of ‘surge demand’ to support major national incidents and CT demand.”
Image: The Deputy PCC with Assistant Operations Director Steve Jones QPM and Superintendent Mark Morgan