A LIVE debate being hosted by South Yorkshire Police Authority is getting underway now to discuss proposals to move the police helicopter's base.

It is the first of two online discussions which are looking into the government proposals to relocate South Yorkshire Police’s helicopter which, objectors say, is likely to more than triple response times.

South Yorkshire has been the only authority in the UK to object to plans to nationalise the police’s helicopter service - if it moved there are fears the response time could go up to 22 minutes from six minutes.

In the last year, the police helicopter has completed 533 tasks in Barnsley and made 24 direct arrests. It has helped to apprehend a further 26 criminals and located four people missing from home. It has found ten stolen vehicles and recovered over £65,000 of stolen property and drugs.

The debate is happening now at http://www.southyorks.gov.uk/SYJSHome/PoliceHome/PoliceHelicopter.aspx and another will take place on Wednesday at 6pm.