Arson attack on West Midlands police helicopter
The West Midlands Police Force helicopter has been extensively damaged in a firebomb attack after a major airport security breach.
The cabin of the £4 million Eurocopter was completely gutted and two rotors bent in the arson attack at Elmdon airbase, near Sheldon, shortly before 2am today (Monday).
A major investigation has now been launched into how criminals were able to get behind the airport perimeter security fence.
It is understood that a review of security has been launched at the site, which is part of Birmingham International Airport, although all an airport spokesman would say was that they were “confident” it met all necessary security guidelines.
West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann said: “The initial assessment shows the helicopter has suffered extensive damage.
“We are in discussions with our insurers. It is an expensive piece of equipment.”
He added: “We do suspect this was an arson attack.”
Police officers could be seen combing the grassland apron at the side of the airfield for clues as detectives began to search for a motive. Forensic investigators were also at the scene.
An alley off the Coventry Road that runs alongside the airport’s perimeter fence was also taped off by police and a 6ft tall hole could be seen in the fence.
The helicopter carried video and thermal-imaging cameras.