POLICE ensured that one of the busiest weekends in the festive calendar was as safe as possible, as ‘Operation Jingles’ saw patrols, boosted with the support of the Special Constabulary and plain-clothed officers, ensure anyone intent on causing trouble or harm was dealt with.
Specially trained officers were also deployed to identify and tackle anyone who may have displayed predatory behaviours such as harassment, loitering without reason and stalking behaviour, in and around bars, pubs and clubs last weekend.
Partnership safety buses also provided valuable support to those who felt vulnerable or needed assistance and offered mobile phone charging, crime prevention advice along with someone to talk to.
Across the force, 63 Special Constables were on duty during the weekend – volunteering for a combined 690 hours – assisting with arrests, roadside breath tests and visits to licensed premises.
This activity will continue throughout the remainder of the festive period in order to keep the public safe.
Assistant Chief Constable Bill Dutton said: “Over the course of the weekend, officers engaged with the public and offered advice to those who needed it while also pursuing those who were intent on causing harm.
“No-one should be in fear in Cheshire so I hope that this brief snapshot gives an insight into our policing at this time of year, aimed to keep communities safe.
“The majority of the public who were out in bars, clubs and pubs enjoyed themselves without any intervention from officers and on the occasions when officers had to step in, they could explain and take the appropriate action.
“Officers focussed on issues such as spiking, sexual assaults, violence against women and girls and targeting other activity such as drug dealing and theft.
“With the high visibility, officers were able to not only deal with criminality but to also check in with licensees, ensuring that they were supported and provided reassurance.
“We will continue with our work in detaining those who feel they can prey on people when they are at their most vulnerable – they have no place in Cheshire.”
Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer said: “Everyone has the right to go out and enjoy themselves. It is great to see officers across the county providing that reassurance to night time revellers that if you need help, they are indeed there.
“It only takes a few people to put a dampener on events, but with the swift action of Cheshire Constabulary this had little impact on many peoples’ evenings. It’s a hard stance but sends a clear message that crime won’t be tolerated here in Cheshire.”