Two weeks ago, The Chronicle highlighted the rare sight of armed police on the city streets following a machete attack on a Hoole store.

A kidnapping in Huntington and a stabbing near the City Walls happened either side of this incident.

Since then, Chester police have made extraordinary progress on all these offences so The Chronicle invited Chief Superintendent Phil Jones of Cheshire Constabulary to describe in his own words how the force set about tackling this unusual level of violent crime in the area:

Police in Chester continue to work hard to ensure the public are safe and feel safe in the city.

The last couple of weeks have been a very busy time for officers, responding to some serious incidents of crime, rarely seen by the community.

The response of the Constabulary has led to positive results that people should be reassured by, with two people charged and two arrested in connection with a kidnap, one person charged with a stabbing on the City Walls, and a number of positive lines of inquiry ongoing in relation to an armed robbery at a Co-op in Hoole.

Police at the scene of an armed robbery at the Co-Op store on Walker Street in Hoole
Police at the scene of an armed robbery at the Co-Op store on Walker Street in Hoole
 

Members of the local community should feel confident and safe in the knowledge that the local police have the capability and the professionalism to deal with the most serious of crimes and to bring the offenders to justice.

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The sight of armed officers on the streets of Chester is unusual, attracts considerable interest and will, potentially, raise concerns amongst the residents and visitors to the city.

It is, however, really important to put these incidents in context.

Armed police at an address on St Anne Street in Chester
Armed police at an address on St Anne Street in Chester
 

Thankfully such incidents are rare and my responsibility, as the police area commander, is to ensure that the public of Chester are not only safe, but also feel safe.

There will be occasions when, in order to achieve this, a senior officer decides that the deployment of armed officers is necessary to minimise the risk to the public, and to ensure that the officers responding to a particular incident are as safe as possible.

Whilst the need for deployment of these tactics is infrequent, this incident clearly demonstrates how having specialist and highly trained officers on duty and available, 24 hours a day across Cheshire, helps us to achieve the aim of keeping the public safe.

Police in Chester are working with partners every day which is at the foundation of keeping local communities' safe, reassuring people and ultimately reducing the opportunity for serious crime.

Police tape marking the area near the City Walls in Frodsham Street where a man was stabbed
Police tape marking the area near the City Walls in Frodsham Street where a man was stabbed
 

Local policing teams continue to ensure they are involved in the neighbourhoods they serve with PCSOs regularly visiting schools, involvement in parish meetings and by taking an active part in organising community events such as the Panna football competitions, recently praised by the Home Secretary on her visit to Chester.

Through the Community Safety Partnership, we are working very closely with the local authority and other partners across Chester, targeting the causes of crime and disorder, such as the misuse of alcohol in the city centre and a keen focus on the licensed premises which cause a significant demand.

We are providing services to reduce the numbers of homeless people on the streets, and with the Safe in the City scheme, working with local stores to provide shelter for vulnerable people.

As a result, over the last three years we have seen a sustained reduction in the city centre of offences of public disorder, robbery and violence crime resulting in injury.

We will continue to work in partnership to maintain and improve this trend.

The impactive work the police carry out in Chester, such as daily contact in the schools, on the street, and in partnership with community groups and the local authority will continue to ensure that serious crime on the streets of the city is a rare occurrence.