County's police helicopter to "be lost"
DEVON & Cornwall Police are to lose their dedicated force helicopter under government changes.
The aircraft will serve as part of the National Police Air Service from next summer, along with the helicopter from Dorset and Avon & Somerset Police.
Critics said they feared aircraft crews would be stretched and any slower response times could endanger lives.
The Government said the reorganisation would provide a better service.
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The new air service is replacing police helicopter operations in England and Wales for 43 forces, operating 25 aircraft at 23 bases.
The Devon & Cornwall, Dorset and Avon & Somerset forces each have their own aircraft, but the three are to become part of the national service from next summer.
The Devon & Cornwall aircraft, currently at the force's headquarters at Middlemoor in Exeter, is moving to Exeter Airport.
The Association of Chief Police Officers added it hoped that crews would have a 20-minute response times for 98 per cent of the population.
The move is expected to save £15m a year as seven other air bases around the country are closed.