Ceredigion’s Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams has called on the Government to save the Dyfed Powys Police helicopter, in a debate today in Parliament.
From 1 January 2016, Wales will only be served by bases at St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, and Hawarden, Flintshire, along with others in England following the closure of bases at Pembrey and Rhuddlan, Denbighshire which will shut due to cuts by the National Police Air Service (NPAS).
There was concern voiced at the debate from MPs, including Mark Williams, that the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner had given assurances at the end of the last year that this service would be protected.
Commenting following the debate, Mark Williams, said:
“It is hugely disappointing that the assurances from the Police Commissioner that services would be protected, which came as little as eight months ago, have not been borne out. The former Dyfed Powys Police Authority had voiced its opposition to the removal of a dedicated helicopter and it also rejected the idea of a cheaper fixed wing aircraft. Their concerns I believe, have stood the test of time. This invaluable service serves 4,188 square miles of sparsely populated territory. Time considerations really matter, for instance the 24 minutes the helicopter takes to fly from Pembrey to Aberystwyth.
“I believe the Government have agreed that there would be a review of the service being proposed to cover the North of the country, and should that be case, there should also be one in Wales. I echo the calls that the Home Secretary should intervene.”