THE fight to save the Dyfed-Powys Police helicopter base at Pembrey continues with a west Wales MP involving the Secretary of State for Wales.

Nia Griffith, MP for Lanelli and Shadow Wales Minister has written to Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb urging him to intervene.

The state of the art helicopter hangar, built recently at a cost of £1.5 million is facing closure, following a decision by the National Police Air Service, to reduce the number of police helicopter bases from 34, not just down as initially planned to 22, but down even further to 15.

There are concerns that moving the helicopter even further from Pembrokeshire will put people at risk.

Ms Griffith said: “I am calling on the Secretary of State to ensure that Wales does not lose out. We as taxpayers in West Wales contribute to the funding of Dyfed Powys Police who will be paying into the National Police Air Service for a helicopter service which will not even have a base here.”

She recently visited the base with Llanelli AM Keith Davies and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Assembly candidate Marc Tierney.

Mr Tierney said: “The additional national security requirement for Haven waterway, with its high concentration of oil and gas installations, is, in itself, strong justification for the retention of a police helicopter service. I wrote to the Police and Crime Commissioner earlier this year and got his assurances that port security had been stepped up in line with the UK terror threat. Local air support is vital to maintaining our security.

“With the RAF helicopter service now privatised and cuts in the local coastguard service, reducing the police helicopter bases from 34 to 15 is a cut too far. Dyfed-Powys Police have a long and treacherous coastline to cover and difficult inland terrain. The Police helicopter can save the ground forces very considerable time and effort. If the new system is introduced, west Wales and Pembrokeshire in particular will suffer most because the service will be so far removed from our communities.”