Posted on 6th December 2019

Rural crime, knife crime and bullying were on the agenda in Macclesfield as residents met with Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner and chief constable to discuss policing issues in their area.

It was the latest in a series of public engagement events where local residents across Cheshire have been invited to put their questions about local policing to PCC David Keane and CC Darren Martland.

A number of residents and local community representatives attended the event at Macclesfield Town Hall last night (Thursday 5 December).

The PCC and the chief assured those in attendance that Cheshire police is carrying out a number of proactive initiatives to address the issues raised.

Among them was the new rural crime team that was recently introduced in Cheshire, a dedicated team specifically tasked with responding to and investigating allegations of crime committed in rural areas. The work of the team was highlighted in response to questions around how the Constabulary deals with issues such as hunting and the national badger cull.

Another topic of conversation was knife crime. The Commissioner talked about a number of high-profile incidents involving a knife across Cheshire over the past year or so, and told audience members that tackling knife crime was everyone’s responsibility. He was keen to ensure that the issue didn’t demonise young people, and called on wider society to address the issue alongside police.

One of the most powerful moments of the evening was a 15-year-old girl in the audience, who spoke about her experience of bullying, which in turn had led to self-harm.

She was commended by the Commissioner for her bravery in speaking about the issue, and highlighted the work of the anti-bullying commissioner that he had recently introduced. He impressed upon the audience that many examples of bullying are actually criminal offences, and said that a number of recommendations were likely to come from the commission for schools, organisations and internet providers to consider and act upon.

PCC David Keane said: “It was great to see so many local residents with a real passion and dedication to making their communities safer give up their free time to attend this event.

“It was interesting to hear on a local level what the key policing issues are for people in Macclesfield and discuss how we make improvements to make their communities safer.

“With police resources more stretched than ever, it’s important that we talk to local people about their priorities for policing to ensure we are delivering the best possible service.

“I look forward to meeting more residents at future events planned across the county in the coming weeks.”

CC Darren Martland added: “We are committed to delivering a neighbourhood policing service and putting the priorities of local communities at the forefront of everything we do.

“Our officers and PCSOs forge strong relationships with our communities to ensure crime and anti-social behaviour is dealt with as quickly and as effectively as possible.

“We appreciate the feedback from local residents in the area and I would like to reassurance residents that the problems raised at the events are being dealt with proactively by the local policing team.”

The Macclesfield event was the final one of the year. Further events held in Chester, Crewe, Runcorn and Warrington in the New Year. Please check the Cheshire PCC website for further details www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk

If you would like to submit a question for the PCC or chief constable ahead of the meetings, please email it to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk