Thursday 16th June 2005


Police crackdown on
travelling criminals

by John Hendon

CRIMINALS who enter, or travel through Warrington to commit offences are being targeted by police as part of a month long operation revealed today.
Officers from a number of different units are working together as part of the new campaign to put the brakes on travelling crooks.
These include the Automatic Number Plate Recognition Unit (ANPR Unit), the newly established Area Support Group (ASG), local Community Action Team (CAT) officers and the newly established Northern Area Proactive Policing Team (PPT).
The main objectives are to:
Target travelling criminals using major arterial routes.
Gather and share intelligence
Prevent and detect crime – particularly the theft of and theft from motor vehicles.
The campaign started on June 1 but was kept under wraps so as not to alert the criminal fraternity. Since then, 22 known criminals have been arrested and 72 fixed penalty tickets have been issued for varying amounts up to ?200.
High tech ANPR equipment is being used in the exercise. It does not monitor vehicle speed but scans passing motor vehicle number plates and checks them against information stored in a variety of databases including the Police National Computer.
This can identify vehicles of interest to the police, such as stolen cars or those involved in crime. When a suspicious vehicle is recognised, it can be the focus of targeted interception and further enquiries.

Hospital appeals for
pain relief machines

by staff reporter

PEOPLE who bought their own pain relief machines but no longer use them are being asked to help others – by donating them to Warrington Hospital.
A pain relief expert at the hospital is appealing for the public to help bring some respite to people who suffer with discomfort in their neck and back.
Caroline Smith, consultant anaesthetist and consultant in chronic pain, is asking anyone who has a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine but no longer uses it to donate it to the hospital.
She said: “We have around 15 TENS machines in the department which we loan out to people to see if they can help them. However I have spoken to so many people who say they bought one but no longer use it.
“Rather than having a TENS machine sitting in a cupboard somewhere, we want people to donate them to us so we can put them to good use.”
A TENS machine usually has one or two pairs of gel pads which are placed either side of the painful area. These are attached to a discrete battery-operated control box, which can be clipped on to a belt or in a pocket.
The buzzing sensation it generates can help mask the pain rather like the heat from a hot water bottle.
TENS Machines can be donated to Warrington Hospital via the League of Friends helpdesk at the main entrance.

Chance meeting was
band’s lucky break

by Lesley Wilkinson

A CHANCE meeting in a supermarket gave a Warrington band a lucky break when they were signed to a record label and promoted in a major concert.
Gillian Atkinson, who was born and grew up in Culcheth, Warrington, is co-owner of Document Records, based in Whithorn, South West Scotland.
“I just happened to be visiting my home town and a chance encounter in the local supermarket lead me to discover a wealth of musical talent in Warrington,” she said.
She met “Spooky Ben” a young bass player for local group, The Sessions. She saw the band in rehearsal and found them to be “truly astonishing.” The Sessions consists of singer John Mackie, 25, of Cadishead, lead guitarist David Smythe, 21, of Fearnhead, keyboard player Paul Griffith, 21, of Golborne, drummer Alex Healey, 24, of Fearnhead, rhythm guitarist Ian Reddecliffe, 23, of Culcheth, and bass guitaist Ben Deakin, 20 of Padgate.
“The band electrified me. I hadn’t felt like that since the heady days of punk. I came out of the rehearsal room shaking with excitement. The Sessions, however, are no punk band but they feel and sound like the potential leaders of the next great music movement that so many of us are craving,” she added.
The band was signed to her company’s contemporary label, Crunch, and welcomed by Gary Atkinson, managing director.
Gillian said: “I knew instantly that we had to have them. The Sessions then told us about other local bands, Red Mojo, Morbid Fascination and The Watershed, all of who have a loyal following because of their riveting talent.”
The Sessions, Red Mojo and Morbid Fascination, are to perform at The Parr Hall, Warrington tomorrow (Thursday).

Boy taken to hospital
with acid burns

by David Skentelbery

A 10-year-old boy was taken to hospital at Warrington with burns to his feet and hands after coming into contact with acid used for brick cleaning.
Fire crews and paramedics were called out after the incident in Battersby Lane, Warrington.
A fire service spokesman said the youngster was apparently playing with friends and managed to get into an outbuilding at the Albion pub, which is currently under renovation.
Builders had left the acid in a container but this was accidentally overturned and the boy walked through the acid spilled on the floor. It subsequently burned through his shoes and socks and he became aware of a tingling sensation to his feet.
He went home and washed his feet, but was eventually taken to hospital for treatment.
Firefighters were called out to search for the acid because the youngster would not at first admit where the incident had happened.
The spokesman added: “There was something of a problem until we knew what sort of acid had been involved. But in the end the boy was allowed home. He was not thought to be seriously harmed. But the acid had burned through his shoes simply because he walked through it.”

Students and lecturers
encourage to car share

by Lesley Wilkinson

COLLEGE staff and students in Warrington are being encouraged to car share following the introduction of a new computerised scheme designed to match drivers and passengers.
The scheme was launched on World Environment Day and National liftshare Day, at the Warrington campus of University College Chester.
It is part of the college’s environmentally-friendly campus plans. Software developed by a specialist company will match drivers and potential passengers travelling in the same direction.
Users can click on a link from the home page on the college website, and register free giving their name, gender, age, smoking preference and contact details.
The system tells whether anyone is heading in the chosen direction, and allows individuals to get in touch via a secure e-mail connection. Companions can be chosen from college or a UK-wide database.
People travelling on the launch day were being encouraged to donate the day’s travel cost savings to the charity Asthma UK – to mark evidence that pollution causes breathing difficulties.
College principal Professor Tim Wheeler said: “We are promoting a range of transport options to staff and students as part of our Green Travel Plan and encouraging everyone to think about how the wider community could benefit from their choices as well.
“This includes appreciating the benefits of walking, cycling or using public transport, to ease traffic nearby, manage parking better, help the environment and improve health and well-being.”

Town has a new
police chief

by John Hendon

WARRINGTON has a new police commander – Chief Supt Helen King.
She has taken over the reins as the new commander for the Northern Area – which consists of Warrington and Runcorn.
Supt King has worked in Warrington before. She was posted to the town as a detective sergeant in 1990 was also the senior investigating officer at the time of two major investigations in the borough in the late nineties – the murder of Kathryn Lin

ekar and the abandonment of a three year old child who was subsequently found safe and well.
She said: “I have always wanted to serve the public. I was keen to have a career in which I could face challenges and have variety in my work, but most importantly of all a job where I felt I could make a real difference.”
Supt King joined Cheshire Police in 1986 under the Graduate Entry Scheme and quickly rose through the ranks. In 1999 she became superintendent in charge of Halton for a period of three years.
She is enthusiastic about her new role as area commander, responsible for policing in both Warrington and Halton.
“I’m excited about seeing the new Neighbourhood Policing Units (NPUs) in action for myself and I intend to spend some time on patrol with Community Action Team (CAT) officers to meet local communities.
“I’m absolutely determined to deal robustly with the problems that cause the most harm and fear amongst local communities. I recognize that it’s often crime such as anti-social behaviour, youth nuisance and criminal damage that has the most impact upon people’s lives. I believe the police can make a real difference to these issues, but only with the help and support of local people and our partner agencies. And I know that there are many young people living in Warrington and Halton who are committed to improving their local communities and I would encourage them to work with the police.”

Rainbows to raise
money for hospital

MEMBERS of the 1st Stockton Heath Rainbows – the youngest section of the Guide movement – are holding a bring and buy sale at Stockton Heath Methodist church hall, in Walton Road, on Saturday, June 25 in aid of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The event starts at 2.30pm. There will stalls, an auction and games.


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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