Gwent and South Wales Police join NPAS


National Police Air Service

The Gwent and South Wales Police joined the National Police Air Service (NPAS), which will serve the local community from the existing base at RAF St Athan near Cardiff.

NPAS, which began managing police air services in October 2012, now manages – or will manage in the near future – nearly every police force’s air service in England and Wales.

Mark Warrender, operational support superintendent, said: “The work of our Air Support Unit is extremely valuable in everyday policing.  The resource can respond quickly, and be called upon to clear wide areas when searching for missing people, offenders and suspect vehicles, saving hours of police officer time.”

“Joining NPAS will provide the Force with more resilience, and I am confident the Force will receive an enhanced level of service.”

One of the perks of NPAS is that officers on the ground can call on for additional aircraft, if a helicopter is unavailable or grounded for maintenance.

Ian Johnston, Gwent police and crime commissioner, said: “Air support is a valuable tool in the fight against crime and forms an integral part of operational policing. Gwent Police and South Wales Police have been operating as a consortium to provide air support for their Force areas for a number of years.”

“Following detailed negotiations with NPAS, I am assured we will be able to provide a high quality level of service for the people of Gwent which will also deliver better value for money. This National service means that we can call on air support from a number of different locations around the UK as and when required.”