How we assist Police Forces

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) deliver a fully borderless service to all police forces across England and Wales 24/7/365 and an unprecedented national response to major and critical incidents. Flying at average speeds of 138mph, police air support saves officers on the ground valuable time when it matters. On a daily basis, NPAS tackle criminality, help save lives and keep people and communities safe.

NPAS carry out a variety of tasks for police forces such as searching for high risk missing people/concern for welfare/injured people, searching for suspects, managing vehicle pursuits from the air and assisting with counter terrorism/specialist firearms operations. In time critical searches such as that of a high risk missing person or child, the time saved in locating them can literally mean the difference between life and death.

The National Police Air Service (NPAS) Operations Centre operates 24 hours a day, year-round and manages requests for air support from all police forces and other agencies across England and Wales. Find out more about how air support is deployed

The NPAS fleet consists of EC135s and EC145s. NPAS also have four fixed-wing aeroplanes, two of which are flying in support of police forces in England and Wales. Work is underway to bring the others into service.  

Benefits of NPAS/police air support:
• can search large areas quickly (twenty times faster than other options and fewer ground resources required) – can mean the difference between life and death
• can provide an aerial overview of a situation - minimises risk to members of the public and police officers
• provide downlink into control rooms
• ability to surge resources in times of greatest need
• ability to move aircraft and crews to meet demand across England and Wales
• enhanced safety of the public and officers
• production of specialist quality evidence
• a visible and powerful deterrent ensuring communities are safe and feel safer

360 Degree helicopter photo
Look inside an EC-135 Police helicopter, and around the NPAS Newcastle hangar in this 360° VR photo.

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