SIR, — May I add my support to the views expressed in your article on helicopter nuisance (Herts Advertiser, April 17). We too have had unnecessary low-level noise nuisance caused by the blue and yellow (Eurocopter EC135) helicopter operated by Herts Poli
SIR, - May I add my support to the views expressed in your article on helicopter nuisance (Herts Advertiser, April 17).
We too have had unnecessary low-level noise nuisance caused by the blue and yellow (Eurocopter EC135) helicopter operated by Herts Police, sometimes in the early hours of the morning.
I have observed this helicopter both at Offley and in the north west Harpenden area, when it has been "in transit", and obviously not in the "arrival-at-an-incident" phase of a flight. Two occasions have been in clear blue-skies weather when I would estimate it has been flying at an altitude as low as 200-250 feet. Indeed on the morning of April 19, albeit in greyer weather, the police helicopter was once again over us at very low altitude.
I have been in contact with the Chief Superintendent responsible for helicopter operations at the Herts police headquarters at Welwyn Garden City, but have not had an adequate response to the issue.
To my mind the balance of social benefit versus social/environmental nuisance is not currently being addressed with sufficient rigour.
While I accept that helicopters can be valuable for situations where life is at risk, this does not to my mind extend to routine policing of minor crime - for example the situation where two police helicopters were used to pursue some hare coursers across two counties (nor for that matter the Norfolk police helicopter used to attend raves).
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I am not condoning any illegal activities, just that the deployment of an expensive helicopter, which only does one or two miles per gallon, and where this helicopter caused four per cent of all complaints to the Luton Airport noise database in 2006, seems to be an over-the-top method of policing.
I also note some villages are struggling to fund their Police Community Support Officer. So police - feet on the ground please, rather than on the helicopter tail rotor pedals.
Tufnells Way, Harpenden.