Police tweet about helicopter joy riders in Merseyside is fake

18 May 2021
What was claimed

Four males in Bootle took an air ambulance helicopter without consent (otherwise known as joy-riding).

Our verdict

Merseyside Police confirmed this is not true and the tweet claiming this was fake.

A number of Facebook posts have claimed that an air ambulance helicopter had been stolen in Bootle, Merseyside, sharing a tweet about the incident from Merseyside Police. However, the tweet was fake and this incident did not take place.

The post included what appeared to be a tweet from Merseyside Police which said: “Merseyside police [sic] have today arrested 4 males from the Bootle area in respect of taking a helicopter without consent and flying with no insurance. More updates to follow.”

It also included a video of the helicopter taking off. 

Another image shared in one of the posts stated: “4 Bootle heads just been [sic] a joy ride in a chopper and bailed out in derby park [sic] wtf”.

While an air ambulance was seen in Bootle recently, it was not stolen. As reported by the Liverpool Echo, an air ambulance was called on 16 May to assist in a police incident

The tweet was a mock-up and Merseyside Police said it is commenting under posts and trying to find out who wrote it.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because Merseyside Police confirmed the helicopter was not stolen. It had been called to Bootle to assist police on 16 May.

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