Keeping Cheshire's Roads Safe and Free From Crime

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John Dwyer

During January I have been highlighting the work I have been doing to place roads policing as one of my priorities. Most of us will be affected by the road network on a daily basis, either as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian and feedback from my consultation with the public clearly showed that road policing and road safety are top priorities for the community.

My refreshed Police & Crime Plan, which will be published before the end of March, will show my continued commitment to ensuring there is a focus on road policing. The Constabulary will not be able to address these issues alone and I will continue to support the Chief Constable in working with local council partners with regards to road safety and with neighbouring police areas to stop those criminals who use the road network to cross area boundaries.

Cheshire Constabulary has been working hard to ensure that our roads are safe. As part of the Constabulary's Operation Blue Christmas Officers conducted 2,000 breath tests with over 100 arrests being made. You will now also see seized vehicles parked outside police buildings across the county. Reasons for seizure vary from no tax and insurance to being seized as an asset under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) plays a part in taking some of these vehicles off the road. The Constabulary now has a number of cars which specialise in the use of ANPR. You may have seen these cars on your travels, as part of their livery includes a black bonnet with ANPR Interceptor across the front. These cars are here to help you and identify anyone breaking the law.

Best use of technology is essential in policing our roads. Therefore, it has been fantastic to see ANPR being used in partnership work between Cheshire Constabulary and neighbouring police areas through action such as Operation Crossbow to target and disrupt criminal activity. The Constabulary works relentlessly to ensure the roads are safe. Anyone caught breaking the law is being dealt with appropriately.

I want to continue to make our roads safer. I am keen to see the drink drive limit reduced from 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood to 50 milligrams of alcohol. I am working with Commissioners across the country to tackle drink driving and through our work and our links with the Association of Police & Crime Commissioners we aim to lobby Government to reduce the drink drive limit. In addition, I will continue my campaign to tackle the issue of vehicle write offs and unsafe second hand cars.

Just like you, I want our roads to be safe.