Force to keep area chopper

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SOUTH Yorkshire is set to keep its own police helicopter during peak hours after plans to remove it were scrapped.

The aircraft will be available on a 10-hour shift for seven days a week, 365 days a year, while the county will also have access to the National Police Air Service from bases in West Yorkshire, Humberside and Derbyshire for the remaining 14 hours each day.

Chairman of South Yorkshire Police Authority, Charles Perryman, said the new arrangement was a ‘massive improvement’ on previous plans for coverage to be provided full time from neighbouring counties.

He added: “The change will see South Yorkshire being covered by a helicopter service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for the first time. This is a significant development.”

South Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable, David Crompton, said the Sheffield-based chopper will be available to cover the ‘peak period’.