Lincolnshire’s police helicopter one of the slowest in the country to respond

A police helicopter
A police helicopter
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Questions have been raised after a watchdog highlighted concerns over the speed of response by police helicopters.

It took on average 30 minutes and 58 seconds for helicopters to arrive on scene but there were significant differences between police forces, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services found.

However Lincolnshire was considerably slower and in the worst three nationwide at Lincolnshire - 51 minutes, nine seconds. The best was the Metropolitan Police at 10 minutes, 37 seconds.

Chief Constable Alec Wood, Chair of the NPCC Operations Co-ordination Committee said; “We requested this study by HMICFRS and will use its findings to shape a new strategy for police air support that will resolve the issues with our current provision and take advantage of new technology. We have already started to progress some of the recommendations and have recently surveyed all forces to help inform our plans.

“The National Police Air Service has been the first specialist capability that has been nationally managed, a complex task involving 43 forces with varying requirements.”

Here is a breakdown of the average response time for forces across England and Wales, from slowest to fastest:

:: Cumbria - 66 minutes, 33 seconds

:: Dyfed-Powys - 57 minutes, 42 seconds

:: Lincolnshire - 51 minutes, nine seconds

:: West Mercia - 41 minutes, 39 seconds

:: Derbyshire - 41 minutes, 14 seconds

:: Norfolk - 40 minutes, 20 seconds

:: Nottinghamshire - 40 minutes, nine seconds

:: Staffordshire - 38 minutes, 36 seconds

:: Gloucestershire - 37 minutes, 16 seconds

:: North Wales - 37 minutes

:: Cambridgeshire - 36 minutes, 42 seconds

:: Kent - 35 minutes, nine seconds

:: Devon and Cornwall - 34 minutes, 16 seconds

:: Wiltshire - 34 minutes, one second

:: Bedfordshire - 34 minutes

:: Warwickshire - 32 minutes, 21 seconds

:: Hertfordshire - 32 minutes, 14 seconds

:: Gwent - 31 minutes, 24 seconds

:: North Yorkshire - 30 minutes, 59 seconds

:: Hampshire - 30 minutes, 43 seconds

:: Suffolk - 30 minutes, 29 seconds

:: Sussex - 30 minutes, 10 seconds

:: Cheshire - 29 minutes, 29 seconds

:: South Yorkshire - 29 minutes, four seconds

:: South Wales - 28 minutes, 36 seconds

:: Lancashire - 28 minutes, six seconds

:: Northamptonshire - 26 minutes, 31 seconds

:: Avon and Somerset - 26 minutes, one second

:: Merseyside - 25 minutes, 26 seconds

:: Leicestershire - 25 minutes, 18 seconds

:: Essex - 24 minutes, 58 seconds

:: Thames Valley - 24 minutes, 16 seconds

:: British Transport Police - 23 minutes, 48 seconds

:: Surrey - 23 minutes, 44 seconds

:: Dorset - 22 minutes, 55 seconds

:: Durham - 19 minutes, 13 seconds

:: West Midlands - 18 minutes, 38 seconds

:: Cleveland - 18 minutes, 12 seconds

:: West Yorkshire - 18 minutes, three seconds

:: Northumbria - 17 minutes, 36 seconds

:: Greater Manchester - 16 minutes, 32 seconds

:: Metropolitan Police - 10 minutes, 37 seconds