27/07/2014 Back to News
West Yorkshire Police - Helicopter, horses and a huge barn!
An exclusive little group of us were treated to a guided tour of the training centre at Carr Gate, Wakefield.

The Helicopter is now operated by NPAS, the National Police Air Service, and covers practically the whole of the country, Some of us were lucky enough to sit in the observer's seat in the back; Janice Stace and Ray Wright looked quite at home, but poor Barnaby Smith is now just too tall to consider this career path, unless a hatch can be fitted to the top of the cabin.

We found it quite interesting to hear that we encounter similar problems with flying our own aircraft, for example the available payload on the 3m MD Explorer was compromised by 28lbs after a facelift paint job!

G-YPOL has now clocked up 17000 flying hours and is set for many more.

The riot barn was the next on the agenda, and in this giant space the WYP have street scenes set up to replicate every eventuality a trainee could face in the real world including houses, shops, a pub and even a custody suite with cells. All of the buildings are pretty much 'in the raw' with wooden television screens and very uninviting bedrooms and lounges, but no expense was spared on the bathroom fitments......oh, wait a minute, yes it was, they were all unplumbed!

Onto the horses, and we met a number of them still in their stables. We were all duly 'frisked' for Polo's or carrot treats! Six of the horses were in the horse walker for their exercise regime, including 'Connor' who at 18hh is the tallest horse in the yard. The only lady on the yard was currently on light duties following her sustaining ligament damage, I don't think she minded though as she was turned out on her own to graze. We also got to say hello to Bud who made the news in April 2013 after being punched in the face by a thug at the Sunderland -v- Newcastle football match. Bud recovered quickly and had the last laugh as the thug was sentenced to prison for 12 months for violent behaviour.

To finish the visit, we were all given little goodie bags and Ray was warned not to speed his way back up the A1.

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