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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 05:32 GMT 06:32 UK
'No hiding place' with Eurocopter
The Eurocopter C135
Other UK police forces own the Eurocopter C135
Merseyside Police have invested in the latest hi-tech helicopter in the fight against crime.

The force hopes its Eurocopter C135, which is equipped with a range of hi-tech equipment, will leave criminals with "no hiding place".

The 2.8m C135 replaces the out-of-date helicopter which the force had leased for 12 years.

The new model has a top cruise speed of more than 170mph and can stay in the air for up to two-and-a-half hours at a time.

Eurocopter's equipment
Digital, broadcast quality, camera
Thermal imaging gear
Digital mapping system
Enclosed tail rotor, a "fenestron", which is quieter
Twin jet turbine engines
Easy access rear doors
Inspector Andy Adamson, who heads the Air Support Group, said the machine will play an "essential part" in policing the county.

"Residents on Merseyside will be pleased to know that we listened to their complaints about the noise of the previous helicopter and this one is considerably quieter.

"And there will be no hiding place for criminals thanks to the hi-tech thermal imaging and a high-spec digital camera, which can capture the smallest of detail."

The Air Support Group is designed to provide 24-hour support to officers on the ground.

Councillor Carol Gustafson, chair of Merseyside Police Authority, said the helicopter was a "real boost".

"It is a vital piece of crimefighting equipment for Merseyside and it is also regularly used to find missing people and carry medical supplies to the scene of serious accidents."


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See also:

18 Feb 02 | Scotland
30 Jul 01 | Education
07 Sep 00 | Scotland
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