PILOTS were recently invited to land their planes free of charge at the launch of an innovative aircraft registration scheme at Shoreham Airport.
The ‘fly-in’ took place on 14th September and officially launched the Vapours scheme, a crime reduction initiative aimed specifically at aviation.
Around 35 light aircraft including several helicopters and various items of aero instrumentation such as GPS and radio communications equipment were security marked with the SelectaDNA forensic property marking system.
Roger Lyddon, Police Liaison Officer for Selectamark, which markets SelectaDNA, attended the launch and demonstrated how easy it is to mark the aircraft and equipment.
Mr Lyddon said: “The Vapours scheme is an excellent idea. Some of these light aircraft are worth between £40,000 to £60,000 and could be very profitable targets for thieves. However, if the plane and equipment has been marked with our unique DNA coding system, if anything is stolen it can easily be traced to its owner when recovered by police.”
The Vapours scheme also allows pilots to register their ground contacts in case of an emergency and speak with specialist officers from Sussex Police about any legal aviation matters that concern them.
Founders of the scheme DC Andy Huggett and DC Steve Lowin of Sussex Police have also formed the General Aviation Intelligence Team, which is based at Shoreham Airport.
DC Huggett said: “We empathise with the needs of the flying community and we know that they need to protect their aircraft. With the launch of this scheme, we hope every aircraft owner will take the opportunity to security mark their equipment with SelectaDNA and take advantage of the other useful aspects of the scheme.” http://www.vapours.aero
DC Huggett continued: “It’s also a chance for us to engage with pilots and explain innovations such as the online reporting facility and emergency ground contact registration scheme.
“Essentially we are treating the whole of Sussex as an airfield, with its community being the pilots and airfield operators. With Vapours we’
re giving this community the tools to police themselves. It could be seen as a Neighbourhood Watch for the sky! We hope that if we can make Vapours a success in Sussex, we’ll be able to roll it out across the UK to other airfields in the near future.”
Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of Sussex Police Operations Department, said: “This initiative is fully supported by Sussex Police and fits hand in hand with our strategy of engaging with our communities to combat the threat of crime and terrorism. Pilots and aircraft owners are very much a community and through the Vapours scheme we hope to show our commitment to protecting all of our residents who entrust us with this role.”
DC Andy Huggett, Sussex Police, General Aviation Intelligence Team.
Telephone: 01273 462090
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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