A long-drawn out negotiation over payment to the National Police Air Service has resulted in a significantly better settlement for Suffolk says Tim Passmore, speaking after Friday’s Accountability and Performance Panel, where the use of the police helicopter was discussed.
In 2016 Suffolk had to pay more than £800K for use of the police helicopter in the county despite the fact that they had only used half of the hours billed, which resulted in the Constabulary paying for £400,000 of unused flying time.
Since first elected, Suffolk’s PCC called for a review of the funding process and this review has resulted in a reduced bill of £403,352 for air support in 2017/18, slashing the bill by almost half.
Tim Passmore said, “I am very pleased to see that the National Police Air Service has revised the charges, resulting in a more equitable and transparent funding system which gives a fair and reasonable deal for the Suffolk taxpayer and the Constabulary.
“I feel strongly that people in rural areas pay their taxes like everyone else and we should receive a fair share of funding fro policing. The police helicopter is very useful resource for the Constabulary but I felt we were being penalised and paying an unfair proportion of the overall national cost of the helicopter.”
“I am pleased that we have been able to secure this better settlement as it will boost the Constabulary budget this by nearly £400K which is desperately needed to ensure we continue to keep Suffolk safe.”