Police helicopter assists search for 'suspicious' man

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The police helicopter was deployed over Wilmslow during the early hours of this morning to assist officers on the ground in the search for a male who had been seen in suspicious circumstances within the grounds of a private dwelling.

The helicopter was circling very low over Wilmslow Park, Dean Row and the Villas at around 4am on Tuesday, 21st February.

Sgt Mark Durkin said "Unfortunately the search was unsuccessful, although no crimes were discovered or reported this morning so the intentions of the suspicious male are unknown.

"Please remember to secure vehicles and houses and report any suspicious behaviour to the police."

Anyone with information can contact Cheshire Police on 101. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Taylor
Tuesday 21st February 2017 at 9:33 pm
From what I can make out the real cost per hour of keeping a Police helicopter in the air for an hour is between £3500 and £5000. Now that would pay for a few cops in cars to drive a mile from the station (oops, it's closed at night) and investigate "a male who had been seen in suspicious circumstances".

No crime "discovered or reported".
Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 7:56 am
Woken by the helicopters at 4 a.m. These do a fantastic job - but my only query is how often they are sent up because "suspicious people" are reported near a footballer's house and whether they then foot the bill for it taking to the air.
Jon Armstrong
Wednesday 22nd February 2017 at 12:22 pm
Doesn't this rush to try to spin everything in the worst possible way ever get exhausting?

As the article states, the helicopter was there to support police on the ground, so police in cars DID drive there to investigate. Who would you imagine was going to apprehend any suspect the helicopter saw otherwise?

A helicopter can cover a lot of ground very quickly, has a much better view than people on the ground and can use technology such as thermal cameras. The helicopter can see a suspect easily in the dark and despite cover that a person a few feet away on the ground may miss, especially in a residential area where there are garden fences and hedges and lots of cover. How many police on the ground do you think it would take to cover the same amount of ground - Wilmslow Park, Dean Row and the Villas - with the same speed and the same thoroughness? 100? 200? More? And how quickly do you think they would be able to drive there from all over Cheshire, or do you think they should all be sitting in Wilmslow station 24 hours a day?

I don't understand the obsession with the opening hours of the station. Police on duty don't just sit in the station all day waiting for something to do... they are out and about all over the area they cover. What does it matter if they have come from Wilmslow police station, the location of their last call, Tesco car park, a lay by or anywhere else as long as they get there in a reasonable time?

I agree there is an argument as to whether the use of the helicopter is a good use of resources, particularly in cases where there is no evidence of a crime, but to suggest that a couple of cars from the local station could do the job just as well as the helicopter is absurd.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 23rd February 2017 at 8:05 am
Is the police station ever open? Constructed at great public expense and of little use. It should be manned (womaned) by civilian employees for several hours per day to service the community that pays for it.
Paul Hampton
Thursday 23rd February 2017 at 2:22 pm
I too was awoken by this. Great work by the local police and air unit - unlucky not to apprehend on this occasion. There has been an uptick in car thefts and burglarys in this area of late, so your continued vigilance is very much appreciated (by most).