MP's rethink call on air '¨base closure

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has written to the chief operating manager of the National Police Air Service (NPAS) calling on him to rethink the closure of Lancashire's only helicopter base.

Thursday, 26th May 2016, 3:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2016, 4:13 pm
Lancashire's police helicopter base is to close

The Warton police helicopter base is due to be shut by May 2017 with cover provided from bases in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

NPAS insists there will be no impact on public safety on the Fylde coast.

But Mr Marsden has writted to NPAS Chief Superintendent Tyron Joyce, having been contacted by a number of constituents and made aware of their concerns.

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Mr Marsden said: “The Warton base plays a very important role in Lancashire and more specifically the Blackpool coast, having helped in missing person searches, especially with dangers such as the sea and piers, which my Blackpool South constituency covers all of.”

Mr Marsden warned any closure will put more “unnecessary pressure and stress” on officers, potentially putting lives in jeopardy.

He said: “With response times at 20 minutes across Lancashire, I am concerned it could be stretched much further if the county’s Warton base is to be closed.

“I am aware that the NPAS’s main focus is to provide and ensure that the local police services have a quickly deployable asset – with the Warton base closure I feel that this focus can no longer be viable given the continuing pressure on expensive police resources.”