Congleton Local Policing Unit has joined forces with other agencies to disrupt and pursue those intent on committing crime in the town.
Local officers in the eastern area and other agencies came together four years ago to form the Cheshire East Serious and Organised Crime Board to find long-term solutions to improve the quality of life of those who may be living in fear of crime.
Since then, officers have been working with Cheshire East Council, The Safer Cheshire East partnership, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, social care, social landlords and probation, to name but a few.
There have been a number of successes, from securing convictions against County Lines drug dealers to safeguarding a number of vulnerable people being exploited by those involved in serious criminality.
The partners also visit communities in order to engage with residents and understand their experience of Serious and Organised crime during ‘days of action’.
On Wednesday 30 November members of the Cheshire East Serious and Organised Crime Board visited residents at home in the Bromley farm area of Congleton to request information and offer support and reassurance in relation to serious and organised crime activity, such as County Lines and criminal exploitation of vulnerable members of the community. In addition to this, support with hardship and fire safety was also offered.
Chief Inspector Duncan Gouck said: “Today's event was about highlighting to residents the progress we’re making in disrupting and pursuing those intent on committing crime and causing misery in the town. It has been a year since Congleton Local Policing Unit was launched. Bringing the SOC day of action to Congleton is part of the increased focus on the needs of the area.”
“We wanted to explain to local people that they too can play a part by arming themselves with the knowledge in how to spot the signs of County Lines criminal activity and what they can do about it - for instance by looking out for vulnerable neighbours who may have their homes taken over by drug dealers to use it as their base, leaving the resident living in fear.
“If we can work together to make Congleton a no-go area for County Lines drug dealing and anti-social behaviour connected to it, we can improve the quality of life of those who have been suffering at the hands of these criminals”
“We wanted to reassure residents that if you tell us there is a problem, we will take action. We do care and can help you, so please don’t suffer in silence”
“We also need your help. You can play an important part in making where you live feel safer and make it clear to criminals that they aren’t welcome here by being our eyes and ears and reporting crime.”
Service Delivery Manager for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Matt Barlow said: “The joint venture was really good to see. There was a broad range of advice on hand from our firefighters and our Prevention Team. They were there on the day carrying out Safe and Well visits to those who would most benefit from a visit. During the visit, residents were given the traditional fire safety information and smoke alarm fitting where necessary, as well as being given advice on slips, trips and falls and winter warmth safety advice.”
Jill Broomhall the Chair of the Safer Cheshire East Partnership (SCEP) said: "Cheshire East Council is committed to working in Partnership to reduce levels of crime across the borough whilst providing reassurance and support to those residents most at risk of exploitation by criminal gangs. The Day of Action on Bromley Farm is another excellent example of all agencies working together to disrupt criminal activity and raise awareness around safely reporting concerns in their community."