NEIL Hamilton, UKIP Wales Leader and Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, is demanding answers, after reports show that the police helicopter for the region is taking almost an hour to reach incidents.
The HM Inspector of Constabulary investigation found helicopters took in excess of 50 minutes, on average, to reach incidents in the Dyfed-Powys Police force area – which covers South West & Mid Wales – which makes it the second worst response time in England and Wales.
Neil Hamilton commented: “It is not acceptable that Dyfed-Powys has the second-slowest helicopter response time in the entire United Kingdom. The geography of Dyfed-Powys is such that vehicle access is often difficult and it creates greater challenges for helicopter coverage.
This just means that greater focus must be put on this vital service. The closure of the force’s base in Carmarthenshire in January 2016 has proved to be a terrible mistake, and these statistics clearly show that dependence on helicopters from North and South Wales is not good enough.
My constituents deserve a better service and they have every right to be angry about these figures.”
In the last year the force paid £891,000 for 349 hours of air support, the equivalent of £2,553 for every hour of air cover.