Police force need access to helicopter
WALES First Minister Carwyn Jones has said Dyfed-Powys Police should continue to have access to a helicopter service.
The forces looks likely to lose its helicopter in 2014 under plans to make police share resources.
The UK Government has proposed cutting the number of helicopters in England and Wales by a third.
Dyfed-Powys Police's Pembrey helicopter base is set to be axed, with a helicopter based in St Athan, near Cardiff, serving Dyfed-Powys, South Wales and Gwent police.
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Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has questioned Mr Jones about Dyfed-Powys Police's campaign against the changes.
The UK Government said changes would provide forces with access to helicopters 24 hours a day, 365 days year — and save around £15 million.
But Mr Thomas, AM for Carmarthen East Dinefwr, said: "The topography of the Dyfed-Powys area means that emergency calls cannot be attended quickly enough by road.
"That is why the police helicopter is of the utmost importance to the force's operations.
"The forced introduction of the National Police Air Service will result in the loss of a state-of-the-art air support facility at Pembrey, recently built at a cost of £1.5 million.
"This expenditure is a clear demonstration of the helicopter's operational importance to the force.
"The police need all the support it can get to challenge these changes and I am pleased the First Minister has backed my calls to support the police authority."