‘Lives may be at risk’ says councillor

A SUSSEX Police Authority member has slammed national proposals which would reduce the force’s air cover in East Sussex.

Councillor Peter Jones, who is also leader of East Sussex County Council, said basing the helicopter at Dunsfold in Surrey under a national arrangement, would increase response times for helicopter cover for over 300,000 East Sussex residents.

Cllr Jones said: “This is wholly unacceptable and could put lives at risk, be it trying to find a missing child or stopping someone from jumping off Beachy Head.”

He welcomed the police authority’s discussion regarding retaining the air base at Shoreham or, possibly, Lydd, rather than the proposed alternative at Dunsfold in Surrey.

Cllr Jones added, “In addition to East Sussex people being adversely affected, some 200,000 along the south Kent coast could also be at risk.”

A decision will be made on the plans at a later date.