Air Support Unit, Strathclyde Police (2006)
About this artwork
This photograph was commissioned as part of a series titled ‘Force’, documenting the diverse roles which constitute Scotland’s police force. The Air Support Unit provides aerial support to territorial divisions in the Strathclyde Police area and it currently operates the only police helicopter service in Scotland. The unit covers an area of 5,348 square miles, a population of two and a half million people, and a coastline of over 4,000 miles. All crew members volunteer for the job and must maintain competency in fire-fighting, first aid, underwater escape training and a variety of other skills. Any police officer is at liberty to request aerial support and the unit regularly responds to requests from police forces outside the Strathclyde area.
Jane Brettle is an artist and associate senior lecturer in Contemporary Photographic Practice at Northumbria University in Newcastle. She studied fine art and photography in Bristol, Sunderland and Derby. In 1988 she co-established Photography Workshop and Portfolio Gallery in Edinburgh. A founding director of Fotofeis (the Scottish International Festival of Photography), she has established photography projects and artist's initiatives in various parts of Scotland. Her current work involves gallery and site-specific installations in which she contrasts the ideals of the past with the realities of the present.