Good or bad

SIR, — Ms Anna Hemmings (Herts Advertiser, October 23 and 30) raises some of the points that have already been raised with Herts Police, namely that the social benefit versus social nuisance of policing by helicopter needs to be carefully weighed. Many

SIR, - Ms Anna Hemmings (Herts Advertiser, October 23 and 30) raises some of the points that have already been raised with Herts Police, namely that the social benefit versus social nuisance of "policing by helicopter" needs to be carefully weighed.

Many people - for example County Councillor Bernard Lloyd - find the police helicopter a "reassuring sight". Others woken up - like us - by a low-flying helicopter in the small hours of the morning may have a different view.

The police in this area use a Eurocopter EC135. This is an expensive piece of kit with a new civilian one currently on sale in America for $6.4 million. I am not sure whether the police lease theirs or get some sort of deal with Eurocopter, but the fact remains this is a pricey and annoying way to chase stolen Ford Escorts, and environmentally unfriendly as this helicopter can only achieve about two miles per gallon.

So while I agree that the helicopter is a benefit when life is at risk or on air ambulance duties, like Ms Hemmings I do wonder if we are seeing downward "mission creep" to less-serious crime - so back to the debate of benefit versus nuisance.


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Me - I'd rather see more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and patrol cars around.

COLIN WEAVER,

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Tuffnells Way, Harpenden.

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