Do you know why there was a helicopter flying over the Elephant/Waterloo area last night ? I think it started at about 1am but after 45minutes of sleeplessness, I ended up wearing earplugs and when I removed them at 5am, the bloody thing was still making a racket above??? It is unbelievable that they would allow such a noise in the middle of the night...
Last year was a nightmare, helicopters would hover low, sometimes for hours during the night or early hours of the morning, for no known reason, over or near my house in Bermondsey south of Tower bridge. One time I even tried to phone the civil aviation authority but as it was the middle of the night I just got a security guard.
I have never discovered who they are or what they think they are doing flying so low for so long over central London. Whatever happened to the no-fly zone?
They can circle or hover for a couple of hours day or night and the noise is desperate.
The only easily identifiable helicopter in central London is the flying ambulance which is bright red with "Virgin" written on the side because without Richard Branson it wouldn't exist, and it has my full support at any hour, but it doesn't hover unless it's landing, you just see it whiz past at speed to rescue someone. I've seen it land in ridiculously small spaces between tall buildings to collect someone and take them to hospital, and these guys are total heros.
The other helicopters who hover low for hours at night or early morning with no identifying marks or explanation just make me wonder if Ebay has a section for secondhand anti-aircraft missile launchers.
If anyone knows who these helicopters are do tell us.
I'm sure a lot of the night flying helicopters are MPS ones. Not all of them have big "Police" markings on them (see http://www.met.police.uk/asu/)
I don't think this link in this old thread is still active, but if I remember correctly it was an article about how the ASU had got themselves some shiny new helicopters so they were now able to provide full 24hr air coverage of London (previously they had only been able to provide dedicated air coverage at certain times of day). It certainly seemed to coincide with the increase in night flying helicopters in SE1 !
I recall watching a documentary/investigation type programme many years ago which focussed on the use of police helicopters somewhere in Holland and also the US. Studies showed that crime prevention/clear-up etc etc was not affected in any way by the use of helicopters by police. The police claim they are a way of co-ordinating officers on the ground but the studies showed no influence on efficacy through the use of air cover.
Has anyone ever thought that the police maybe using the helicopters to search for suspects that have escaped from a stolen vehicle, burglars clambering over roof tops or looking for a body in the water.... Due to the amount of space that a helicopter can view with infra red cameras etc, I would be glad to know that my neighbourhood is being looked after so well...
With regard to last night, it may have been something to do with a fuel barge sinking on the Thames and taking 2 tugs boats with it. A helicopter would be the best thing to use, wouldn't you think....??
Just because it's night time, not everyone goes to sleep........