When it was launched a little over a year ago it was seen as another important weapon in the battle against crime.
Costing £80,000, the unmanned surveillance balloon was designed to give police an ‘eye in the sky’ at major events.
But police chiefs have been forced to scrap the balloon…Opposition to aerial surveillance? Cutbacks? Someone lost the remote down the back of the break-room sofa?
…because it can’t cope with British weather.Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
What, that didn’t occur to anyone before they bought it? In Manchester!?
When faced with the high winds and heavy rain for which Manchester is notorious, the 25ft helium-filled balloon had a nasty habit of being blown away or ripping.*sigh*
So how much are
The balloon, camera equipment and the truck that carried it all around, which operated as a studio where five officers viewed footage, was bought from makers Sonic Communications in Birmingham for £80,000.Gah!
Fair play to Sonic Communications, lads, you played a blinder! Clearly, you could sell fridges to Eskimos.
Selling a flimsy helium balloon (plus truck!) as a surveillance device to plod was no doubt like shooting particularly dim fish in a very small barrel.
With a bazooka...
Chief Superintendent Dave Anthony, of Greater Manchester Police’s specialist operations branch, said: ‘We experienced a number of technical and other problems with the blimp and it was decided, especially in the current climate (Ed: *wry chuckle*), that it was neither cost effective nor operationally viable to maintain.’Oh, I don’t know. It was probably a lot more useful than you…
‘We have been able to recycle various parts of the blimp…’As ACPO spare parts?
It has now been sold at a loss but police chiefs said they were unable to confirm the figure.Perhaps you need a detective to find them?