In these times of austerity aren’t police aircraft just an expensive luxury – wouldn’t the money be better spent putting more officers on the front line?
Aircraft provide vital support for police ground operations and is one of a number of key assets available to the police.
In hunts for suspects or missing persons they can clear large areas that would otherwise tie up many officers for many hours in prolonged searches, as well as checking inaccessible or dangerous areas (e.g. roofs), including through use of infra red detection.
In public order situations they provide, literally, an overview enabling commanders to make the most effective deployments and respond quickly to emerging problems.