Posted on 17th January 2020

Drug dealing, modern slavery and future crime prevention were the key issues raised by Warrington residents as they 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.

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A number of residents and local community representatives attended the Join the Conversation event at the Gateway on Sankey Street last night (Thursday 16 January).

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.

This includes using intelligence to target organised crime gangs who supply drugs into our communities and working with partners to develop a problem solving approach to look at the root cause of addiction and mental health issues.

The commissioner explained that these are societal issues that the police cannot tackle alone but a lack of other public service resources means the police officers are often the first to respond to these issues.

The chief constable also talked to residents about how a Hidden Harm Team has now been established in Warrington to inspect businesses and use intelligence to tackle modern slavery.

He also encouraged members of the community to look out for common signs of the crime, including malnourishment, a lack of belongings and a reluctance to talk to strangers, and report any suspicions to police so they can be investigated.

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 Warrington 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 Join the Conversation road show events have also visited Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Widnes, Macclesfield and Chester with another event scheduled in Crewe in the next week. The final event will be held in Runcorn next month on a date to be confirmed. Please check the Cheshire PCC website for further details.

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

All of the commissioner and chief constable’s responses to the questions raised at the meetings or via email will be published on the commissioner’s website in February once the series of events have concluded.