Rural Crime Conference at Willington Hall

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On Feb 29th Councillor Larry Holmes attended a Rural Crime Conference at Willington Hall. Over 100 delegates came to listen to the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Chief Constable and his staff discuss a range of issues affecting rural areas.

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The Cheshire force has recently received an excellent report from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. Despite the pressures on budgets, Cheshire is the only force apart from the Met that is recruiting new front-line staff with 70 new constables to be employed. A wide network of volunteers has been deployed to make the Horse Watch and Cycle Watch Schemes more effective and the force is rolling out a property marking scheme — Operation Shield — to make the successful prosecution of burglars an easier task.

Speeding through villages and along rural roads is a common concern among rural residents and the force has bought 17 special high-tech speed guns to help combat this problem. They hope to be able to deploy these within groups of parishes where, with force support, local volunteers will be able to monitor speeding traffic accurately and liaise with the police to bring offenders to justice and improve road safety for all.

The Chief Constable was also able to report that there was a 12% reduction in recorded rural crime and an increase of 17.5% in the number of rural crimes solved. While many people may be fearful of the threat of crime the reality may be that we can all sleep a little easier in our beds.

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