Posts Tagged ‘police helicopter’

Air ambulance and police chopper now operating out of new Almondsbury base

Posted on Saturday 1st December 2018 at 8:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of GWAAC crew with air ambulance G-GWAC on the apron of the new Almondsbury air base

Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) has taken up tenancy of a new air base in Almondsbury. The move is a huge milestone for the charity, which had previously been operating from a hangar at the former Filton Airfield.

The air ambulance has been joined at the new site by the local police helicopter, which was also previously based at Filton.

In a move which would ensure stability for the life-saving charity, the landlords of the new base have offered GWAAC the opportunity to purchase the facility at a significantly reduced price.

GWAAC chief executive Anna Perry explains:

“We’re thrilled to have moved into the new air base at Almondsbury, however with our current tenancy agreement we could be asked to leave again after ten years. This could be extremely disruptive to our service. Owning our air base will ensure we can continue to carry out our life-saving work well into the future. It’s unlikely we will have the opportunity to buy a facility like this again.”

Earlier this year, GWAAC launched an urgent appeal to help them raise the additional £1.25 million needed to fund the purchase. They are half-way towards their target, but still have a long way to go. As a charity they rely on generous donations from members of the public to stay operational. Excitingly, if they can raise another £315,000 then a generous local organisation has pledged to double this money!

More: Almondsbury-based police helicopter is operational 24/7/365 »

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Work starts on new helibase at Almondsbury

Posted on Thursday 14th December 2017 at 8:32 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of groundbreaking ceremony.

Work is now under way to build a new air operations base for the air ambulance and police helicopter on a green belt site near the Almondsbury Interchange.

The new helibase will serve the needs of the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) and National Police Air Service (NPAS), whose helicopters are currently based at a site on the former Filton Airfield.

The new site will feature a hangar, a grassed final approach and take-off strip, a car park and a new access road off the A38 (from a point between Almondsbury Sports & Social Club and the Swan Inn).

Planning permission for the new helibase was granted in August 2016, despite fierce opposition by some nearby residents in Almondsbury and north Bradley Stoke, who objected on the grounds of unjustified development of green belt land, potential noise pollution, and the possibility of motorists being distracted by aircraft movements.

BAE Systems purchased the land in Almondsbury for use by GWAAC and NPAS as part of its proposed scheme to redevelop the former Filton Airfield site. The defence company has since sold the Filton site to Malaysia-based conglomerate YTL.

Speaking after a ground breaking ceremony held at the site on 8th November, Russ Woolford, assistant operations director for NPAS, said:

“Today is a significant milestone in the base move from Filton to Almondsbury as construction works begins.”

“The base at Almondsbury will be part of the national, borderless network of 15 NPAS bases from which our crews support local police forces to keep communities safe.”

Anna Perry, GWAAC chief executive said:

“Everyone at GWAAC is pleased that work is beginning. The charity is desperately in need of a modern air base and this great location will mean that even when we cannot fly, our doctors and paramedics can get to patients quickly in our Critical Care Car.”

More: Both helicopters are expected to relocate in autumn 2018 »

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Burglar arrested in Bradley Stoke jailed for four years after admitting multiple offences

Posted on Saturday 4th February 2017 at 10:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Police car.

A man arrested in Bradley Stoke last December has been jailed for four years for burglaries in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Simon Inker, 42, of no fixed abode, appeared before Bristol Crown Court on Thursday 26th January and admitted a burglary of a house in Fishponds in November 2016, in which a laptop and cash were stolen.

He also asked the court to take into consideration 12 other offences, including four counts of trespassing with intent to steal and eight burglaries in which cash, jewellery, watches, electrical items and a bike were stolen. These offences took place in Bradley Stoke, Brislington, Greenbank, St George and Stoke Gifford, during November and December 2016, with one in July 2016.

Inker was arrested on Tuesday 13th December 2016 in Bradley Stoke by local police officers who responded to a call, at 2.47pm, from a member of the public reporting seeing a man acting suspiciously in The Pastures. The police helicopter was brought in to search the area and, at 3pm, the helicopter team reported on Twitter that a burglary suspect had been “located and detained by officers”.

A reader comment on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page said the arrest took place on Brook Way, near Christ the King Church. Another commenter added: “Seen him run from Hawkins crescent then jumped over wall into Jordan Walk when I was waiting for bus.”

The local beat team subsequently tweeted (at 3.56pm): “Sorry about all the police cars and sirens in Bradley Stoke. However male arrested for burglary. Now helping police with their enquiries!”

On 1st December 2016 (nearly two weeks prior to his arrest in Bradley Stoke), police had issued an appeal for information concerning the whereabouts of Inker, who it was said was “wanted on recall to prison after his licence was revoked”. The statement added: “He has a conviction for burglary”.

More: Police inspector promotes Neighbourhood Watch schemes »

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Police helicopter deployed in vehicle pursuit that ended in Bradley Stoke

Posted on Thursday 9th June 2016 at 3:38 pm by SH (Editor)

Red Renault Megane abandoned in Palmers Leaze, Bradley Stoke. [Credit: @ASPThornbury on Twitter]

The deployment of the police helicopter over Bradley Stoke for around half-an-hour last night (Wednesday 8th June) was connected with a vehicle pursuit which had started nearly two hours earlier in Thornbury.

The helicopter was first seen circling over the The Common East area of Bradley Stoke at around 9pm, before gradually moving down to the south of the town, where it hovered over the Webbs Wood Road area until shortly after 9.30pm.

More than 70 comments regarding the incident were made on the Bradley Stoke Journal’s Facebook page, with several readers reporting sightings of police cars and ambulances in south Bradley Stoke. Several comments referred to police cars being present in Palmers Leaze and one reader said they had been informed by a police officer that a vehicle had been abandoned there and that an occupant “had fled, possibly towards the motorway”.

A clue to what had been going on was revealed later in a tweet made by Thornbury police at 10.01pm:

“Another pursuit Bradley Stoke, the suspicious car from Thornbury abandoned, the driver ran off towards Vantage Park.”

Vantage Park is the nearby business park on Old Gloucester Road which houses the Winter Stream Farm pub.

The tweet included a photo of a red car with the driver’s door open (above).

In response to an enquiry from the Journal, an Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said today (Thursday):

“We were alerted to a male who was acting suspiciously in Church Road, Thornbury  just after 7.20pm last night.”

“After he was approached by officers, he made off from the area in a car at speed.”

“We utilised a number of resources, including the police helicopter, to locate the vehicle.”

“It was later found abandoned in Palmers Leaze, Bradley Stoke.”

“Our investigation continues but we would ask anyone with information to contact us now on 101 and quote crime reference number 5216125216.”

An earlier tweet by Thornbury police identified the vehicle involved in the incident as a red Renault Megan.

Related link: Post and comments on the BSJ Facebook page

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