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Monday 2 March 2009

Crewe & Nantwich News – February 2009

Farm Thefts; Seven Charged Seven men have been charged following an extensive Police investigation into thefts of valuable agricultural equipment from farms in Cheshire. A man aged 19 is accused of conspiracy to steal vehicles, plant and machinery worth £2.5million; five men face charges of conspiracy to steal vehicles and machinery worth more than £300,000 and another man is charged with stealing a tractor mower, trailer and quad bike and attempting to steal a jetski. The men were arrested after a team of Police Officers worked closely with farmers to investigate a series of thefts which were having an impact on the livelihood of the farming community.

Cannabis Farm Warning Police warned landlords in Crewe and Nantwich to make sure their properties are not turned into cannabis factories. Sergeant Adam Butt said, “The organized criminal gangs behind these establishments only care about profit. They will wreck your buildings. They knock holes in the walls for ventilators, channel floors for irrigation systems, hang massive heaters from the ceilings and set up haphazard electrical wiring systems. They by-pass the electricity meter and there is a huge fire risk. Landlords need to know who is renting their building and what they are using it for.” The warning came after officers seized £150,000 worth of cannabis plants from a former restaurant in Crewe and discovered an abandoned cannabis factory at a house in the town.

“Bogus Caller” Charges Two men were arrested and charged with carrying out a “bogus caller” burglary at a house in Nantwich. The men were also accused of a similar burglary in Congleton and two others in North Staffordshire. One of them also faces a charge of burglary at Newark in Nottinghamshire. They were both remanded in custody until next month.

Open Door Approach Police Officers in Eastern Area have been the first in Cheshire to use new powers to enter the homes of Registered Sex Offenders. On three occasions they used forced entry methods to carry out searches after the offenders refused to allow officers in. In all three cases they were looking for evidence of re-offending. Detective Inspector Chris Hemingway, in charge of the Eastern Area Public Protection Unit said, “Sex offenders are already closely managed by us and partner agencies, but this “tougher” approach to searching homes is an added safeguard. Any evidence to indicate re-offending prompts a robust police investigation. Offenders quickly find themselves back in the Criminal Justice System.”

Driver Jailed after M6 Tragedy A senior Cheshire Police Officer said the tragic deaths of a couple and their four children on the M6, near Crewe, was about one driver’s gross inattention. It was not about foreign lorry drivers on British roads. Superintendent Guy Hindle was speaking after a jury at Chester Crown Court found a Portuguese lorry driver guilty of six charges of causing death by careless driving. Superintendent Hindle described the incident when the lorry ploughed into the back of the family’s car as “a dreadful crash that wiped out a generation of one family “. He added that their relatives would carry the burden of the event with them forever. The lorry driver was sentenced to three years in prison.

“Rollover” Lesson on Seatbelts Police said a spate of “rollover” crashes in East Cheshire underlined the need to wear seat belts. In six cases where cars ended up on their roofs, the drivers walked away with only cuts and bruises after being left upside down, suspended in their seat belts. Tony Hall a Police Traffic Management Officer said, “In all these cases the drivers remained conscious and were able to lower themselves out of the car or wait for rescue. Without seat belts they would all have suffered serious injury, or even death.” Last year more than five hundred car drivers in East Cheshire were fined for not wearing seat belts. Tony Hall said, “There is just no logical reason why people refuse to belt up when they are making a journey.”

Checkout Your Local Police A new bargain offer at a busy town-centre supermarket in Crewe will be face-to-face talks with officers from the local Neighbourhood Policing Unit. Constable Claire Rees and Police Community Support Officer Vikki McKenna are setting up a regular “surgery” beside the checkouts at ASDA. On one Sunday a month they will be available to anyone who wants to talk to them. Vikki said, “It seemed logical to find a place where there will be a lot of people about. If anyone needs a private chat the store is making a room available for us.” The ASDA surgeries begin on Sunday March 8th between 12 noon and 2pm.

Police Community Support Officers Neil Flanagan and Paula Davies have begun surgeries in the village hall at Shavington on the third Wednesday of each month, between 1.30pm and 3pm.

People in St. Mary’s, Wells Green and Rope are being urged to make their views known on local issues at a Neighbourhood Action Meeting. Among the issues under discussion will be the next policing priority for the area. The meeting is on Tuesday March 3rd at 7pm in Berkeley Primary School, Laidon Avenue, Crewe.

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