RESIDENTS in Mildura, and the surrounding district, may have wondered what the helicopter patrolling the night skies last night was doing, and where it was from.

The answer is that it was the Victoria Police Air Wing conducting an operation in the area, something that will continue over the next day or so, and may become a common occurrence in the future.

It’s a well established fact that the presence of police eyes in-the-sky has an immediate and significant impact on the level of crime.

Mildura police Superintendent John O’Connor said that the VicPol Air Wing was carrying out some routine operations in the Mildura region for several days before returning to Melbourne.

“You are going to see an increase in aerial surveillance because Victoria Police has purchased more helicopters and rural areas have been allocated additional operational flying hours,” Supt O’Connor said.

“Mildura residents will see an enhanced presence from the Air Wing next year, and this won’t be unique to Mildura, it will be throughout regional Victoria.

“It’s amazing what the effect of a helicopter above has on the suppressing of crime.

“People can hear the chopper, even though they may not be able to see it…”

Supt O’Connor said that although the noise of the PolAir helicopter may be the source of some minor irritation to residents, he believe the benefits to the community outweighed the slight inconvenience.