Ooh, no I haven't - that's interesting though, I'll have to listen out and see if it pops up again tonight! Which area are you in when you see it?
At the moment, I'm far more aware of the alarm that wakes me up without fail at 2am, somewhere around the Emirates stadium. It's driving me absolutely bananas.
Islington Helicopter update: a Police spokesperson has said that this is definitely not a police patrol as far as their records show. I quote:
"from our systems there hasn't been a helicopter from the MPS Air Support Unit in Islington in the last two weeks (which is as far back as we can check). It could be that other emergency services helicopters have been in the area, HEMS the hospital support are usually called out to road traffic collisions so it is possible that may have been the case on these occasions."
I'm going to continue to look into this and find out who else could be responsible for the flights. as the regularity seems at odds with the idea of it being an emergency chopper responding to incidents.
I think the thing was back again this evening flying directly over the Bemerton Estate. Not wanting to cast aspersions but I can't believe that it's a secret millionaire waiting the drop their bag of cash. It has to be the police! Maybe they don't want to release surveillance information to the public. I'm with you though. it is very irritating!
Yep I'm on Parkhurst Road, Holloway and heard it night of 3 July (after midnight, very, very loud, woke me up) and last night 4 July from about 11pm for around 40 mins. Last night I could see it and it seemed to be over towards the Emirates way - but pretty difficult to guess. Starting to really annoy me.
Yes I too and driven to despair about the police helicopters inflicting noise terror on our communities at night. If you ever get a chance to watch what they do it is merely transcribing large circles around the night sky without targeting any single point - does any one have any explanation for this activity. I have tried to be understanding and generally I think the police do a good job but there is obvioulsy a breed of chopper copper that abuses their power to be able to enjoy joy riding through the Islington night.
Turqoiseblue I'm sure there are bad apples in every organisation - I had a friend who was told by a policeman that if she slept with him he could drop the investigation into why she had travelled on a train without a ticket. Some coppers are human and invested with all the weaknesses of junkies or alcoholics they need weeding out - what I mean is that they might be taking girls up there for joy rides in exchange for sex?
Yes I too think that the use of police helicopters at night is excessive and what a game the official response is - oh we have no knowledge of of police helicopter usage in your area last night - have you tried the air abulance? They think we are stupid. Write to your MP firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what is happening in her constituency. She is shadow minister now and may be able to get it investigated.
The helicopter is here again, for a long time, 10:24 on 31.7.11. I rang the police on 101, after a 'slight difficulty of communication' (you have to be persistent), they confirmed there is an incident going on. She reckoned that if a helicopter is hovering quite a while, and at this sort of time, one can usually assume it's a police incident. Let's hope it annoys the crims as much as it's annoying everyone else.
OMG please shut up you stupid heli. It is sunday evening....I am fed up with this noise. I appreciate the police have to do there job but really..........are there really enough criminals to have this almost every night. What have the police said on this? That its true...they are after criminals every night...or are they just keeping watch...is it just to put off criminals. It's driving me insane. That along with the inconsiderate recycling men who reverse into a cr park every tues and friday at 6 am unnecessarily and wake me up and the foxes that have sex which sounds like someone is being raped......makes me hate this neighbourhood sometimes!
I live on Northchurch Road and I have noticed over the past few months lots of helicopter activity at night. They fly overhead towards Angel then return and hover over head. In fact a helicopter has been hovering overhead for the past hour. It has to be police or military, but why? They can't be looking for the same criminal ever night for months can they?
Last night there was a bout of helicopter fun on the corner of New River and Canonbury Lane, for 45 minutes or so. I walked out until I was standing directly underneath it (couldn't sleep so nothing better to do) and couldn't see any sign of any "incidents". I can understand it was probably observing something some distance away, but I'd been expecting some sort of major catastrophe. Can't see what else would justify such a prolonged presence on a Sunday night.
I live in Camden just on the Islington border near Caledonian road and every night without fail there is a ****** helicopter making a racket. I just don't understand it. Its driving me CRAZY!!! Osama is dead, Saddam is dead. Who else the hell could it be that requires chasing every night at that time. For crying out loud I want to move away from this insane noise....
Have just emailed the police. Thanks for the address insurgent.
"Dear Metropolitan Police
I am a resident in Camden near the Islington border, and several nights a week, including tonight, a helicopter flies quite low over what I guess might be Caledonian Road/ Holloway Road/ Barnsbury. This always seems to happen around 11. Its very loud and lasts for very long. Its not just a helicopter passing by, its hovering, persistently.
Can you please shed some light on this? It is really irritating and tonight it was flying so low it was practically rattling my kitchen windows near Camden Square.
I am writing to you as I understand that you may have received several enquiries into Police helicopter night time activity from Islington residents. I too am a resident in Barnsbury, Islington adjacent to Caledonian Road and I would further like to enquire as to the nature of these flights. Hopefully you are aware by now that helicopter noise is incredibly disturbing particularly for those residents that sleep on upper levels of flats. I understand that using this type of surveillance maybe necessary to monitor certain activity but it is becoming an increasing occurrence and always around the time of 11pm, lasting for at least an hour. The frequency perhaps suggests that these are not reactive call outs but standard procedure and perhaps not entirely necessary at this time.
I am part of an Islington based website that is currently discussing this as an issue. We are confident that the problems are caused by Police helicopters due to sighted markings on the helicopter flanks. Most of those that have commented on this issue have found consistency in our records of flight timing and frequency.
If you could perhaps give me some insight into why this occurs and how this situation might be improved I will relay your response back to the website and it's followers. I have copied in Emily Thornberry, our local MP as I know that several people have also consulted her in the issue.
Helicopter activity has been a bugbear of mine for some time, but this year the situation has got completely out of control. It's almost midnight and yet again the ****** thing is zooming round and round in circles at zero feet over Archway. Maybe they should build a helipad in Whittington Park to cut down on fuel costs. Or maybe somebody should try reminding the Police that Osama bin Laden is dead and in any case hasn't lived round here since he used to follow Arsenal in the early 1990s.
I move to Barnsbury from abroad since June. I only know that the amount of noise created by helicopters it is sometimes unbearable at night and day time. I don't understand why is so much use o helicopters for. Is it something only inthis area of Islingtom?
Now i has been at least a continuous hour 9-10 am.
Yay! I am so glad I am not imagining it! Have lived in Barnsbury for three years and am almost nightly woken or go to sleep to the sound of a low flying helicopter circling. Last night/this morning it went on until gone 1am and was SO close I thought it was about to crash into us. I woke up in such a panic I thought war had broken out!!! (obviously no more cheese before bed time!)
Just emailed the following (thank you for those email address'):
I am a resident of Barnsbury - Thornhill Road - and I have put up with three years of almost nightly helicopter visits but last night I was at breaking point. I woke up terrified, my heart pumping in panic as I thought the world had come to an end or that London had plummeted into a war zone. But in fact it was a very low helicopter hovering and circling directly over my flat from 11.50am to 1am. It was so low that I lay frozen in my bed waiting to die! Although I am aware this sounds hilarious in the light of day, I was absolutely petrified at the time and fearful for my life.
This is completely unacceptable!
Yes, I am aware that occasionally helicopters are needed. But Occasionally! I count my blessings when there isn't one as they happen so often. Is Barnsbury really such a rough place that we require nightly helicopter surveillance? I lived in Stamford Hill for a year and never had a single helicopter visit!
This has got to be reigned in.
If it is not a Police helicopter - although sightings have seen than the problem helicopter has the Police word emblazoned across it - than I would recommend that this is invetigated. As it is not only having a detrimental affect on Islington residents relationship with the police but is also causing a near nightly disturbance for thousands of residents.
By the way - I can actually hear another right now.
I appreciate your support with this matter,
could it be the British Transport Police / Network Rail helicopter ?
It is similar in appearance (pictures of it are on the internet)
I don't live in the area , but some Police forces publish details of when their helicopter is airbourne on their website (and via FOI) and from that I think it is the BTP helicopter that is causing the problems whilst the residents blame the local force
The local police appear oblivious the BTP helicopter's existence
The MPS Helicopter is only tasked to attend certain very particular jobs. It does not, nor ever has worked in Islington "every night" as some people here seem to keep complaining about. The Helicopter mainly carries out thermal imagery surveys to help Officers (only when they request that they need it) on the ground catch and arrest burglars who, have generally fled and are hiding in YOUR and MY gardens and out buildings carrying YOUR or MY personal belongings.
It tracks, finds and guides officers to stolen vehicles, and finds missing people on a daily basis. It also deters crime by being a visible presence. It has also saved lives by picking people out of the Thames and finding them and collecting them when they are alone in the dark and badly injured. It guided Firemen to people trapped in blazing buildings during the riots and it told our underpaid Police Officers when the next wave of attacks was about to try and get behind them. It saves lives. We pay for it and we get a fantastic service from it and the Officers that operate it.
The Helicopter works for the entire Metropolitan area so is just as likely to be in Croydon, Wimbeldon or the City as it is in Islington.
The Aircraft is a twin engine helicopter weighing 4 tonnes, so indeed does make some noise. The reason it has two engines is purely for OUR safety as in the event of an engine failure it can fly clear and land safely as opposed to single engine (quieter) machines that, in the event of an engine failure would be have to land on a road ...or God forbid a roof top.
The Police are out there trying to catch these thieves and offenders on our behalf and personally, if that means using a helicopter to 'see in the dark' when the Officers on the ground cannot ...I am all for it.
I think that after a small amount of research I have an answer to why we here in Islington hear the aircraft a lot. Simply draw a line on a map from the Helicopters base into central London. It passes directly over us. I would bet that the residents of Tottenham and Chingford hear it FAR more than we do ..
Guys/Girls of the Helicopter unit... you can wake me up at any time of day or night as I know you would not be there unless you are ORDERED to be there and were not doing something that was absolutely necessary.
The amount of legislation it and bureaucracy it takes to get anything done these days means that they do not or can not do anything without being able to justify their actions.
There is NO point trying to get them to tell you why they are there ...its a simple security issue.
Guys and Girls of the Unit, Keep finding, helping, saving, catching, tracking,recovering gathering evidence and any other tasks you do that I don't want to know about ...If I wanted to know ...Id join the Police !
*New Message* from @MPSIslington, over on Twitter: "I see that the helicopter is still causing some angst: if ppl tweet us with queries I will try to confirm what it is doing".
This could be a good opportunity for those bothered by the helicopter noise to put their questions directly to the local team, responsible for activity above. Tweet at @MPSIslington to ask a question.
I live just off Copenhagen street. I complained about the helicopter to the met last year as for several months it had been flying low overhead and keeping me awake almost every night, even with all of my windows shut.
Its out again tonight. Its 00:15 and its been circling low for the last 45mins
Really its a terrible nuisance.
Same tonight in EC1R 0WW, a helicopter has been around my building for more than an hour (it's past 0.30am). Is it worth keeping 5000 persons out of sleep and well stressed the next day to catch a gangster??? It's been at least once a week lately! And these helicopters cost 1000£ / hour!