A SPECIAL police team has tackled drug dealers, burglars and nuisance youths.
But Ellesmere Port and Neston's Proactive Community Action Team has also triumphed in changing people's attitudes to the police service.
One of its biggest successes was tackling yobs who were making residents' lives a misery on the Swale housing estate, off Rossmore Road East.
Constable Steve Marshland, one of four PCs in the team led by a sergeant, explained his role to Ellesmere Port and Neston Police Forum.
He said: 'We are intelligenceled, tackling all levels of criminality - from double parking in Overpool to nuisance youths at Whitby Hall and drug dealers on the streets.
'Our main objectives are to get to know the local people and disrupt crimes.'
PC Marshland, who joined the team in November 2004, said it observes suspected offenders, gathers intelligence and forges links with community groups.
Successes include Operation Skilful tackling nuisance youths, Operation Outpour hitting burglars and Operation Guitar, targeting a drug dealer on the Stanney estate.
Since November, there have been 30 arrests and 89 Youth Nuisance Forms - the first stage to getting an ASBO imposed on a youth - filled out.
PC Marshland said disorderly conduct was tackled on a wide scale on the Swale estate.
He explained: 'There's 100 houses there, both council and privately owned. They had a problem with youths being dis-orderly, causing vandalism, harassment, criminal damage, people being assaulted, off-road bikes ridden around and up to 30 youths hanging around on street corners.'
Officers conducted high-visibility patrols and dispersed the gangs - and now the residents are unafraid to come out of their homes.
'Some of the youths are now being made the subject of ASBOs and reported for offences - we knew we could make a difference,' said PC Marshland.
He added: 'A boy who stuck two fingers up at me on my first day is now waving at me and once asked if he could watch arrests being made.
'And at Hope Farm shops a resident told us how great the area was now we'd arrived and how they are reconsidering moving house.'
The team has an ongoing public order exercise and a link with the bailiffs from Chester, Ellesmere Port & Neston Magistrates' Court.
But PC Marshland cautioned: 'Being proactive, we are only as good as our last job and we are already looking to our next challenge.'
You can contact the team through Inspector Adele Jones on 01244 350222.