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NPAS - National Police Air Service

Why is there a helicopter over my house?

The NPAS (National Police Air Service) provides centralised air support for all police forces across England and Wales. Their advanced helicopters are an asset to us.

You can find more information about NPAS on their website here: http://www.npas.police.uk/

Where do the police helicopters come from?

Surrey residents may see NPAS helicopters in the skies above their neighbourhood. They will have set off from either Redhill, Boreham, Benson or London. It is extremely rare that there is a genuine cause for concern, but if there is, the officers on duty will make sure residents are made aware of the situation.

It’s very noisy and late

The majority of the noise made is generated either in the hover or while orbiting. When transiting, the noise created is minimal and momentary. The aircraft often fly higher at night to help to keep noise to a minimum, especially over residential areas, and will leave the scene of an incident as soon as possible. However, due to the lack of ambient noise during the hours of darkness, the noise appears louder than it would during the daytime when there is more background noise. Whilst we do appreciate this can cause some disruption, NPAS plays a vital role in assisting Surrey Police’s officers. Whether searching for a missing person or tracking an offender on the run, they are our eyes-in-the-sky, guiding officers.

Is it definitely a police helicopter overhead?

There are many other helicopters, such as military, air ambulance or privately owned; it may not be a police helicopter.

Can I contact them?

Please bear in mind they are mostly airborne, and as such may not be able to respond immediately to your enquiry. NPAS do publish information on some tasks via social media, but only when they are able to and the update is appropriate.