Surrey Herald July 29th 2009

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The following is an extract from a letter to Nigel Eastment received from Inspector Steve Cheeseman about the police helicopters at Fairoaks Airport - 7th July 2009

"You may be aware that over recent months there have been several instances of police aircraft being attacked including the Surrey Police aircraft. The West Midlands police helicopter has been severly damaged by fire but fortunately no member of staff has been hurt in any of these attacks. As you would expect security of police aircraft is a matter that is taken seriously and after the attack here on 30 April 2009 further work was undertaken to identify practical options.

As a consequence, RAF Odiham was identified as offering the best solution against a number of different factors. The move was accelerated two weeks ago and the Surrey Police aircraft is now working from RAF Odiham. The move has been undertaken on a temporary basis initially but it is likely that it will become permanent. This will be subject of further consideration.

The communications around the move were planned for a later date but events have overtaken this to a greater extent.

I am grateful for the support that has been evident within the local community for the police helicopter over the years albeit there have been occasions where our operations have impacted notably on the residents. The role that you and others have played is appreciated and the acceptance of the move to 24 hour operations over two years ago was a key milestone in the Unit's activity."

Steve Cheeseman
Air Operations


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