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Justify the use of police helicopters

10 September, 2021

Residents lives are blighted by loud helicopter noise day and night

Open letter to city council leader Rachael Robathan

• WE the undersigned understand that loud noise is one of the biggest threats to wellbeing in the City of Westminster and especially for those residents who live in the West End neighbourhoods of Soho, Mayfair and Fitzrovia.

Residents have been disturbed by extremely loud noise caused by increased helicopters circling both day and night. We call upon Westminster Council to speak up for residents whose lives are blighted by loud helicopter noise day and night.

We invite the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to explain the use of helicopters and to consider alternative and less disruptive methods of policing.

We call upon the Civil Aviation Authority, the National Police Air Service (NPAS), and the Metropolitan Police Service to justify the number of evening and night flights by police helicopters in terms of arrests and successful operations for the expense.

We call upon all interested authorities to consider better options to the use of helicopters.

Would a better use of resources include increasing the number of police on the streets and the use of smarter and quieter technology to preserve public order for example CCTV or drones?

We appreciate that police in helicopters are considered the best approach for some types of crime (vehicle pursuits, monitoring large public gatherings) but what other ways have been investigated for cost and effectiveness and less disruption to residents’ lives?

We note that Westminster Council’s former leader and current Conservative MP Nickie Aiken slashed the council’s CCTV coverage and the Conservative government cut police numbers by over 10,000, which have yet to be replaced.

We also request NPAS to instruct its helicopter pilots to reduce the amount of noise wherever safely possible.

We understand that minimising turns and avoiding decelerating when turning, can help decrease the noise of the blade-vortex interaction. In addition, shallow approaches can also limit the noise level compared to steep approaches.

We encourage residents disturbed by helicopter night flights to… when appropriate consider complaining about noise or aircraft activities (such as helicopters), to the Civil Aviation Authority by calling 020 7379 7311 or by emailing aree@caa.co.uk.

CLLR PANCHO LEWIS Labour, West End ward, PAUL FISHER, PATRICK LILLEY, JESSICA TOALE, CLLR TIM ROCA, MIYA ALFADLI, A WATSON, ALAN GEEVES, ALAN TAYLOR, ALEXANDER MARTIN, ALIDA BAXTER, AMANDA BODLEY, ANDREA CASALOTTI, ANN MARIE JOHNSON, ANNA STRANG, ANTHONY IRWIN, BHAVNA PARMAR, BROOKE BAILEY, CAROLE MORIN, CAROLE SHEPHERD, CHARLINE APPLEBY, CLARISSA DORNER, DAVID BIEDA, DAVID SETCHELL, DAVO MCCONVILLE, DR JANE HALSALL, ELLEN GROGAN, ERIC ROBINSON, FAHAD ARSHAD, GARY IMLACH, JASON WILLIAMS, JENNIFER SHERIDAN, JOCELYN WILLIAMS, JOHN HARRISON, JON NEAL, KIRSTIE JOHNSTONE, LAURENCE EYTON, LINDA MCHUGH, LORD SPENCER MAYNARD, LUCA LAINO, LUCY SEWTER, MANDY WOODWARD, MARTIN KENNEDY, MARTINA GONDROM, MATTHEW BAKER, ANASTASIA KOLOSOVA, SOPHIE O’LEARY, BELEN VILLAVERDE, ANTON GILL, CHARLES DOXAT, CHARLES KNOTT, GARY HAYES, GEORGE MACKAY, GWILYM HARBOTTLE, JAMES CLARK, KEVIN MUNCEY, MR LITTLE, MS LITTLE, M SEDMAN, MARK ALLAN, NICOLAS OLLIVANT, P WINFIELD, PAUL EDWARDS, PAUL SALT, PHILIP WINFIELD, ROBERT O’DELL, SIMON KIDD, BHAVNA PARMAR, GILL NEWTON, MS LITTLE, T ROBBINS, ABIGAIL ROSEN, D ASHFORD, DORTE FINCKENSTEIN, ELISABETH BROOKE, EVE WHITE, JOANNE DONOVAN, KIERA ADEGBITE, LAURA POWER, LUCIA ARAUJO, MARIA KADID, NATALIE WATTS, POPPY MITCHELL, SHEILA RUSKIN, VICTORIA SWIFT, NATALIE MILLS, OLIVER HODGKISS, PEDRO MENDEZ, PETER SCHULZ, PETER SEFTON-WILLIAMS, PHILIP HINDLEY, PHILIP WINFIELD, RASHMI RAO, RICHARD HARDEN, ROBERT HOOK, ROBIN MAYNARD SEAVER, ROSALIND SELBY, STEPHANIE BUNBURY, TAMARA BERTON, VALERIE SMITH, VINOD PARMAR, VIRGINIA MARTIN, WILLIAM MONTGOMERY & GAMAGES TENANTS’ ASSOCIATION (Representing 1,500 Residents).

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