Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit
The Air Support Unit (ASU) is a Central Operations branch of London's Metropolitan Police Service. The main responsibility of the unit is to provide aerial reconnaissance and other air support operations. Helicopters are particularly useful in aiding searches for missing persons, car pursuits, suspect capture and large public order operations such as football matches.
The Metropolitan Police Service has also reportedly been secretly using Cessna aircraft for a number of years that have been fitted with surveillance equipment capable of intercepting mobile phone calls and listening-in on conversations.
Formed in 1980, the unit is based at Lippits Hill, Loughton and is staffed by 18 Constables, and three Sergeants headed by an Inspector. The unit also employs other members of staff including pilots, engineers, Operations Room Staff and an Intelligence Officer. The senior management are based at Wapping police station.
Each aircraft is crewed by a pilot with two officers acting as Observers, and averages over 260 flying hours per month.
- "Metropolitan Police Service - Air Support Unit". Met.police.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Met Police spends millions of pounds on secret aircraft". Retrieved 2012-05-17.
- "Metropolitan Police Service - History of the Metropolitan Police Service". Met.police.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
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