Every year, the National Police Air Service (NPAS) flies to around 20,000 tasks in support of police forces in England and Wales. These include vehicle pursuits, searching for vulnerable people who have gone missing, providing air cover for operations such as firearms incidents and much more. 

A monthly snapshot of operational activity will be published on this page.

Summaries of some key tasks carried out by NPAS crews during November:

Missing man rescued
Police were called when an elderly man with dementia went missing. NPAS assisted the local force in the search, using a camera to scan possible routes he may have taken, before spotting him trapped within an industrial area. The crew guided ground officers to the scene and stayed above, shining light on the area as police and other emergency services rescued him.

Reckless driver can’t escape
A driver attempted to evade police by speeding along a motorway at more than 100mph. NPAS were asked to assist – a crew tracked the driver when he stopped in a layby and attempted to hide in undergrowth. The driver’s body heat showed on the helicopter’s camera, allowing a Tactical Flight Officer on board to guide ground officers in for them to make an arrest.

Fleeing knifeman is found
NPAS were sent to find a man who had earlier threatened members of the public and police with a knife. Flying overhead an area he may have fled to, the crew spotted him running down an alleyway. A Tactical Flight Officer on board provided commentary to officers on the ground to guide them to the scene to arrest him.

Burglary suspect caught
A search started following reports of a suspected burglar seen running through gardens. When ground units were unable to find him, NPAS were called to the scene. The crew spotted a suspect hiding in undergrowth and tracked them when they tried to escape through neighbouring gardens. Ground units were guided to the location and an arrest was made. The suspect was wanted for multiple offences.

Please note; NPAS is unable to provide further information about the above tasks due to the likelihood of active proceedings and to protect the identities of vulnerable people.

Annual reports
Access copies of annual reports for the National Police Air Service (NPAS)