Helicopter in merger

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SOUTH Yorkshire Police has done a deal with the new National Police Air Service to keep a helicopter in Sheffield.

Bosses initially refused to join the new service, in which helicopter cover will be pooled with other force areas to save £15million. There were fears the new service would not provide enough cover for South Yorkshire but the force has been negotiating to ensure a helicopter base will remain in Sheffield.

The new arrangements begin on Monday and the force helicopter will remain at its base in the county for 10 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The aircraft and its staff will be managed by NPAS and for the remaining 14 hours the county will be served by helicopters from West Yorkshire, Humberside and Derbyshire.

Commissioner, Shaun Wright, said: “We have fought to maintain air support based in South Yorkshire. I believe air support is a critical crime-fighting tool and will do my best to ensure it continues to deliver for our community.”