Nia Griffith MP has spoken up against plans to cut the police helicopter which is currently based at Pembrey. The MP has already voiced her concerns to the Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb MP and has written to the policing minister Mike Penning MP, making the case for keeping the helicopter.
“The decision to axe the Dyfed Powys helicopter at Pembrey is a direct contradiction of a review carried out by Police Air Support Unit Executive Officers in 2012 which states quite clearly why the rural area of Dyfed Powys is best served by a helicopter, and the substitution of the helicopter by a fixed wing aircraft simply will not do.
It confirms officially what seems pretty self-evident to most of us, namely that the versatility of a helicopter means it can land in inhospitable terrain, work in wind gusts of up to 60 knots and cope with the complexities of our sea cliffs and mountainous territory, in a way that a fixed wing aircraft cannot possibly do. The report specifically recommended keeping the helicopter at Pembrey.
Only last November, the Dyfed Powys Police Commissioner assured us that the helicopter would remain at Pembrey, so what’s going on? Looks like one hand does not know what the other is doing.
We have a purpose built helicopter facility at Pembrey, which I understand the Police Authority spent some £1.5 million on only four years ago. That included a substantial Home Office grant, and it is inexcusable to be wasting money like this at any time, but it particularly grates at a time when massive cuts are being made.”