Adrian Bleese spent twelve years flying on police helicopters, and attended almost 3,000 incidents, as one of only a handful of civilian air observers working anywhere in the world.
In Above The Law he recounts the most intriguing, challenging, amusing and downright baffling episodes in his career working for Suffolk Constabulary and the National Police Air Service. Rescuing lost walkers, chasing cars down narrow country lanes, searching for a rural cannabis factory and disrupting an illegal forest rave…they’re all in a day’s work.
It’s a side of policing that most of us never see, and he describes it with real compassion as he lives his dream job, indulging his love of flying, the English landscape and helping people. Perhaps more than anything, it’s a story about hope.
‘Cambridgeshire Police, what’s your emergency?’
‘I don’t know where I am and I think I’m dying.’
That was how today’s story started and it didn’t take long for those words to make their way to us, the helicopter crew. When the emergency phone line rings my heart starts to beat that little bit faster, I can feel the anticipation building. It’s a mix of excitement, knowing that in the next few minutes I’ll be airborne again, and apprehension, never sure if this is going to be life and death for someone. There’s no way of knowing what or where the next job will be: a car chase, an armed robbery, a drugs bust or a missing child. Today it’s Cambridgeshire passing on their concern for the welfare of the young lady who’d called 999 to say she was lost and dying.
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