Cheshire’s proactive approach in crackdown on crime during coronavirus

Spate of reports of young people riding motorised bikes in Ellesmere Port

Cheshire Constabulary is continuing to protect residents throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Changes to the public health regulations have allowed for greater freedom in public spaces but, in line with the government’s message, we are encouraging people to continue to stay at home as much as possible to control the virus and save lives.

Although restrictions have eased in England, the force is continuing to tackle crime, support victims and be there for the people of Cheshire.

Domestic abuse, burglary and roads policing have been areas of focus for the force in recent weeks with proactive activity across the county to identify, target offenders and take action.

Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: 

“Our officers, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to protect the people of Cheshire over the course of the pandemic and this hard work will continue.

“Overall crime has dropped by 34.5% since 1 April compared to the same period last year.

“However, criminals are still committing crime even under the current circumstances and our proactive policing approach has had a significant impact in Cheshire.

“This has ranged from operations targeting business premises and schools to prevent burglaries with the support of the Special Constabulary to increasing our use of stop and search across the county on those suspected of being involved in crime to stop checks on our roads catching travelling criminals and visits to known offenders and victims of domestic abuse.

“The results speak for themselves with many ongoing investigations, positive outcomes at court and vital support provided to victims.”

Last month, one man was sentenced to almost three years in prison after he was stop checked by officers driving above the speed limit.

On searching his vehicle, officers discovered 44 wraps of cocaine worth between £1,320 and £4,400 along with £900 in cash.

This result followed great work by officers who managed to arrest and charge another man from Runcorn.

He was jailed for 20 months after pleading guilty to four counts of attempted burglary in the early hours of Thursday 2 April.

The issue of domestic abuse has remained a priority for the force and across the county a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to tackle it.

Officers are being proactive, visiting victims to assess safeguarding as well as speaking to known offenders and those potentially at risk, carrying out checks, targeting those who are wanted for domestic abuse offences and ensuring that Domestic Violence Protection Orders and bail conditions are being adhered to.

Across the county, officers have made 450 domestic abuse arrests since 1 April.

There has also been a significant increase in the number charges connected to domestic abuse cases since March 2020 with 285 people charged during the period of 1 April to 14 May.

Working alongside partners as part of the Cheshire-wide ‘Open the Door’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the issue and show people how to recognise the signs, know what to do and have the confidence to take action, the force has been hosting a series of virtual web chats – and these are set to continue.

Checks on key routes across the county are still taking place in order to catch criminals who are using other means to commit offences during the pandemic, supported by the ongoing Fatal 5 campaign.

ACC Sims added: “Each day our officers will remain highly visible within our local communities working to deny criminals the use of Cheshire’s roads – and identify anyone committing one of the fatal 5 offences, with a particular focus on speeding, we will prevent those intent on flouting the law from doing so.

“I would like to take this time to thank the residents of Cheshire for their support and reassure them that we will do everything in our power to continue to pursue those who feel that they are above the law.

“We are out there doing our job and we need the residents of Cheshire to do their job by staying alert, and where possible stay at home.”

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