Officers in Winsford are launching a new operation to help address concerns raised by the local community.
Following the death of Keagan Crimes after an incident in Cheviot Square on Sunday 11 October, the local policing unit has been contacted by residents raising a number of issues.
Some are particularly concerned about knife crime following a number of recent incidents in the town.
To help address those concerns, the local Beat Management Team is launching a new operation, which is being led by the Sergeant Danny Haddock.
Sergeant Haddock said: “Having been based in Winsford for more than 12 years I know the community well and I know how committed local residents are in wanting to keep the area safe.
“Understandably, recent events have caused concern in the local community and we want to reassure residents that, in the case of Keagan’s death, it appears that this was not a random attack and many of those involved were known to each other, although we don’t believe that Keagan was targeted specifically.
“It’s also important to remember that knife crime is not an issue that is unique to Winsford and it is worth noting that Cheshire has one of the lowest number of knife crime incidents in the country.
“However, just one knife in the community is one too many, and I appreciate the impact any incident involving a knife will have. This is why the local policing team is committed to working alongside local residents to help remove knives from our streets.
“Over the coming weeks we will be carrying out a number of proactive operations within the community to help reduce knife crime and address some of the concerns which have been raised by residents.”
The operation will begin on Monday 26 October when there will be additional officer’s on foot patrol on the Over Estate along with a socially distanced pop-up police station on Cheviot Square. Residents are urged to attend to meet their local officers and raise any concerns they may have. There will also be pop-up stations on Wednesday 28 October and Friday 30 October.
This will be followed by a Partnership Community Walk on Tuesday 27 October, where Chief Inspector Gary Smith, along with other local officers, will be out and about in the Over area engaging with local residents.
They will also be joined by the local PCSOs and representatives from Weaver Vale Housing Trust, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Then, on Thursday 29 October, Sergeant Haddock will be leading a community knife sweep, anyone who wants to get involved is asked to email Sergeant Haddock (Daniel.email@example.com).
Chief Inspector Gary Smith, who is in charge of policing in Northwich, added: “I know that recent incidents have caused concern in the local community and I want to reassure residents that my team are committed to doing all they can to tackle crime in the area and keep residents safe.
“My officers are working hard with our partners to educate the public and young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
“However, the police cannot achieve this alone and it is an issue that cannot be solved without the support of the public.
“If you have any information regarding knife crime or those who carry weapons please let us know. If you know someone who carries a knife then reporting it to the police could be enough to save a life.”
As well as the ongoing community events, knife surrender bins are now available at Winsford and Northwich Police Stations, where residents can safely dispose of any unwanted knives to ensure they never get into the wrong hands.
Local officers are also working with partner agencies, including Trading Standards, to speak to shop owners about the Challenge 25 scheme to stop the sale of knives to under 18s.
A video has also been produced about the dangers of knives which will be shown in local high schools across the area.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said: “My deepest condolences go to Keagan’s family and friends who have been left deeply shocked by his death.
“We can never underestimate the impact that knife crime has on our communities and as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire I am committed to working with all of our communities to tackle this issue.
“I hope that residents feel assured by the positive action taking place in Winsford and I’m pleased to see that a lot of effort has been going into educating our young people about this issue. It is vital that we make every effort to remove knives from our streets and I will work closely with the community in to provide any support that I can.”
To report any type of crime involving weapons call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be passed to the force online via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report .
Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can report it to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously .