Gold Coast police chose not to use its helicopter during a pursuit through the streets of Ashmore on Tuesday.
Gold Coast police chose not to use its helicopter during a pursuit through the streets of Ashmore on Tuesday. Blainey Woodham

Chopper not an option

GOLD Coast police have defended their handling of a police pursuit on Tuesday and the decision to not include the police helicopter in the response.

South East Region Assistant Commissioner Paul Wilson said the helicopter was not in the air at the time of the pursuit at Ashmore.

He said it would take 15-20 minutes to get any helicopter airborne.

"Not all the emergency helicopters that are available here in relation to other activities are always airborne," Asst Comm Wilson said.

"When we have hoons inside the city I would not authorise the helicopter.

"When we are dealing with more serious crimes such as murder, armed robbery, child safety and sieges then you can rest assured the helicopter would be airborne.

"How do we best use this helicopter? It's with targeted, driven intelligence patrolling."

Asst Comm Wilson said the helicopter was airborne Thursday-Monday for three hours each day.

"We have a contractual agreement for 15 hours a week for the six months of the trial," he said.

"Our counterparts interstate, and NSW has five helicopters, only have a flight time of 20 hours, so our 15 hours is very comparable.

"It's very expensive to fly helicopters and it's very demanding on pilots."

The helicopter was also on standby for 40 hours a week, he said.

Police stopped the pursuit on Tuesday at 7am when the offending driver crossed to the wrong side of the road and the risk to the public became too high.

Police want public assistance to find the car involved. Police said the silver Holden Commodore had Queensland registration plates, 026 JYT.



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