Lancashire Constabulary's Air Support Unit helps in a range of incidents such as searching for missing people, offenders or property and taking photographs of crime scenes and road collisions. It also assists in pursuits, public disorder and firearms incidents.
The aircraft normally operates at 1, 000 feet during the day and at 1, 500 feet at night. It can operate below this height if required but it will usually remain higher so that the specialist TV camera and thermal image equipment can be used effectively.
In a typical month, the helicopter will respond to over 200 incidents and will be directly involved in the arrest of many offenders.
The Lancashire Constabulary Dog Training School is known not only throughout the country but globally thanks to its world-class training courses. Dogs are trained in numerous roles and disciplines including general purpose and search, learning to sniff out explosives, drugs, money, blood, and dead bodies.
Only trained police officers at Lancashire Police carry firearms. There are 4 Armed Response Vehicles based around the county, on duty 24/7 staffed by teams of 10 PCs and 1 firearms sergeant.They still deal with a number of general policing issues like attending road traffic accidents, or arresting people for burglary or theft, but if an incident's reported where someone's carrying a firearm, then the firearms officers will make that incident a priority over the other work they're doing.
Sometimes people don't act responsibly and carry firearms in the full view of the public. This often results in lots of calls to the police who then have to respond, often using specialist firearms officers.
A lot of the weapons that people carry turn out to be BB guns, but the guns look so realistic that even experienced officers can't tell the difference. They can't afford to take a risk thinking it might not be real.
The reassuring sight of police officers on horseback is evident across the county as mounted patrols support the Constabulary's commitment to neighbourhood policing.
As they carry out high visibility patrols on the streets of Lancashire the officers are always keen to talk to members of the public and listen to their concerns. They are also able to stop and search offenders and make arrests if necessary.
Our mounted branch has 19 horses all living at police stables. Each horse has his own stable and is named after a Lancashire town.
The younger horses, which are around 4 or 5 years old, have just started their training and spend most of their time in the riding school. The older, more experienced horses, which have had loads of training, are much more confident.
They help out at all sorts of busy events like football matches, protests and parades. Each horse wears its own "suit of armour" including head shields and shin pads for its own protection.