National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Statement on Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Service (HMICF&RS) into Police Air Support

Chief Constable Dee Collins, QPM of West Yorkshire Police and Air Operations Certificate Holder for NPAS said:

“The journey to having a national police air service has been challenging for NPAS and we have learnt a lot along the way.

“To deliver stretching national efficiencies, we have sought to change the expectations of police forces about the role of air support in policing and to do so has been a difficult process.

“We look forward to working with NPCC and Home Office colleagues as we continue this journey and we hope to provide others that follow with a blueprint for national delivery.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, the chair of NPAS, which is led by West Yorkshire Police as the lead force and local policing body, said:

“West Yorkshire Police and my office has worked really hard with their counterparts regionally and nationally on this first-ever national collaboration following the Government decision to abolish the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) back in 2013 which was originally intended to host NPAS.

“Many of the areas identified in the report are already recognised and there is ongoing work to address them but I think it is important to state that NPAS has successfully delivered phase one of the first national collaboration of this kind which is now a totally borderless 24-hour police aviation service and now delivers on previous and current Government commitments to create a National Police Air Service (NPAS).

“It is widely acknowledged that NPAS has achieved a lot but that there is a need to consider the next stage of development for the service including a clear user requirement for police aviation and how drones can impact on the wider service. We had previously submitted a bid for transformation funding on the use of drones which was unsuccessful but this work clearly needs to now be addressed by the NPCC and NPAS.

“Our pilots and staff provide an invaluable service, particularly within the context of national austerity imposed on the police service where running costs have been significantly reduced from £55 to £38m and are significant factors to be borne in mind.”


Editors Notes
The NPAS Strategic Board is made up of both PCCs and Chief Officer members from across all the regions of England and Wales who are represented and decisions have been made accordingly around adopting a ‘Threat, Harm and Risk’ deployment model agreed by the NPCC.

Five years since its formation, NPAS are successfully delivering a fully borderless service to all 46 police forces across England and Wales and an unprecedented national response to the ever-increasing number of national major and critical incidents.

This is the direct result of Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) from across England and Wales working together with West Yorkshire Police and WYPCC, in their capacity as ‘Lead Force’ and Lead Local Policing Body.

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