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Police Use Helicopter to Stop Twig Collector

Police Use Helicopter to Stop Twig Collector

UK Express
September 2, 2010

POLICE were yesterday accused of wasting public money by using a helicopter to track down a man taking firewood from a forest.

Gareth Pope, 41, spent Bank Holiday Monday collecting twigs with his wife and two children.

But an over-zealous forest warden spotted him at Chinnor Hill Nature Reserve in Oxon, and confronted him before dialling 999.

Dispatchers scrambled a £500-an-hour police helicopter from RAF Benson, Oxon.

When Mr Pope arrived home in Princes Risborough, Bucks, the chopper was hovering overhead.

Two Thames Valley police officers then arrived to inform him he would not be arrested since no offence had been committed.

Sales director Mr Pope said: “It’s outrageous – talk about the police wasting our money. This is so trivial.”

Thames Valley Police defended its use of the chopper, saying it was the “nearest” police vehicle available.