Here's why you might have seen a Metropolitan Police helicopter over Doncaster

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Police aircraft are a regular sight over Doncaster, but yesterday, numerous residents reported seeing a Metropolitan Police chopper hovering over our town.

There were numerous sightings over the Armthorpe, Edenthorpe, Clay Lane and Kirk Sandall areas.

But in addition to the familiar blue and yellow colour scheme, this particular aircraft was emblazoned with the wording ‘Metropolitan Police’ – which as most people know, is the police force for London.

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So why was an aircraft seemingly so far from home – and what was it doing in Doncaster?

A Metropolitan Police helicopter. (Photo: Peter Trimming/Flickr).A Metropolitan Police helicopter. (Photo: Peter Trimming/Flickr).
A Metropolitan Police helicopter. (Photo: Peter Trimming/Flickr).

All police aircraft in the UK are operated by the National Police Air Service, which offers support to all forces in England and Wales.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and allows police to respond to major and critical incidents across the country.

Flying at average speeds of 138mph, police air support is regularly used in searching for high risk missing people, searching for suspects, managing vehicle pursuits from the air and assisting with counter terrorism and specialist firearms operations.

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Requests are processed by a team of experienced flight despatchers. To meet the criteria to receive air support, police officers have to demonstrate that a significant level of threat, risk or harm is posed to an individual, to communities or to property and that a police helicopter is required to support officers on the ground in their response.

South Yorkshire Police say that yesterday morning an helicopter was deployed from Newcastle to help in the search for a missing person – but had no details on the Met chopper, which may simply have just been flying across Doncaster en route to another job.