Partnerships Pay The partnership approach to maintaining law and order and improving people’s lives will become even more significant in 2010, says the Cheshire Police Eastern Are Commander, Chief Superintendent Mick Garrihy. “By working closely with local councils, housing associations, the probation service, schools, watch organisations and community groups we are making tremendous strides. Most types of crime have been reduced dramatically since Cheshire Police re-organized along neighbourhood policing lines in 2005. The Local Area Partnerships which have now been set up are beginning to produce results. They will provide new opportunities to tackle the root causes of crime and disorder.”
Christmas Spirit Police Officers and Police community Support Officers worked with watch organisations and CCTV centres to tackle pre-Christmas crime in all parts of Cheshire Police Eastern Area. They carried out extra uniformed and plain clothes patrols in town centres, deterring and arresting shoplifters, purse dippers and criminals who target parked cars. Many of the area’s most prolific thieves were arrested.
None for the Road On the roads, patrols targeted drivers who had been drinking or taking drugs. In the first two weeks of the pre-Christmas campaign 28 people were arrested in East Cheshire for drink-driving and three for driving while impaired by drugs. Roads Liaison Officer Mike Jones said, “Despite our warnings it seems some people are still taking risks on the roads.”
Sneaking into Prison A man was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment after he admitted committing 32 sneak-in burglaries in Crewe. Police Officers say the case underlines their warnings to people to lock doors at all times. Detective Constable Darren Harper said, “This man simply walked into homes, usually while the family were asleep upstairs, and walked out with laptops, mobile phones, other electrical goods, cash and cards. There are other burglars out there who specialise in the same type of crime. Locking your door is the most basic crime prevention measure you can take.”
For two months officers across Cheshire Police Eastern Area have expressed concern that one in three burglaries is currently a “sneak –in”. They have repeatedly urged people to keep doors locked while they are in or out of the house.
More Charged Two men arrested when their car was stopped in Crewe appeared in court two days later charged with drug dealing offences. They were both committed in custody to Chester Crown Court. One of the men is from Crewe, the other from Nantwich.
New Appeal on “Callous” Murder Police Officers are following up a hundred pieces of information as a result of a Crimewatch reconstruction of a murder carried out near Congleton fifteen years ago. Tracy Mertens was found dying from burns on churchyard steps at Eaton on Dec 23rd 1994. She had been abducted from a house in Birmingham, doused in petrol and set on fire. Detective Chief Inspector Paul Bailey said, “The reconstruction made real the full horror of what was done to Tracy. It took a cold, callous and cruel mind to plan her murder.” The Crimewatch programme included a picture of her, taken in hospital during the 12 hours before she died and never previously published. DCI Bailey said it was part of an appeal aimed directly at anyone who might know her killers. He added, “Her eyes clearly show her pain. I would ask you to look into Tracy’s eyes and search your conscience. If you know anything about who did this to Tracy, and why, tell us. Tell us now. It is not too late.” Anyone with information is asked to contact the Operation Eaton Incident Room on 0845 458 0000 or information can be left anonymously on the Crimestoppers line 0800 555 111.
Yellow Card for Fast Action A “Yellow Card” system intended to fast track action which prevents young people drifting into anti- social behaviour will be evaluated in the New Year. Police Officers, Police Community Support Officers and Cheshire East Council Community Wardens who break up groups of teenagers enter the names, addresses and schools of the young people involved on the Yellow Cards, together with details of why they took action. Cheshire East Anti Social Behaviour Unit then sends a letter to parents, inviting them to get in touch for further details. Parents of young people listed a second time are sent a “Final Letter” before intervention measures begin. The number of letters being sent has increased since the pilot project began and the response from parents has been positive.
Violence Charges A 24 years old man from Nantwich has been sent to Chester Crown Court charged with three offences of violence. He is accused of wounding another man with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, assaulting a woman, and causing an affray. All the offences are alleged to have been committed in Crewe on the same occasion.