MEET the CATs who are prowling Neston and helping to make it a safer place.
They are the officers of Cheshire Constabulary's Community Action Team for the area.
CATs concentrate on particular towns or rural areas within Neighbourhood Policing Units such as Ellesmere Port & Neston, Chester Outer, Chester Inner.
They are supported by Investigation Teams, who are also dedicated to a particular NPU.
In addition, policing is provided by specialist teams such as the Specialist Investigation Team, Public Protection Unit, Targeted Patrol Teams and Part-nership Development Units, which are all dedicated to an area (Western, Eastern or Northern) as opposed to an NPU.
The number of CATs in an NPU varies, depending on the size and character of the location.
There are two in Ellesmere Port and Neston, one team for each town.
CAT policing was first introduced in Cheshire a few years ago and has proved successful in providing long-term answers to crime and dis-order problems, rather than using a 'sticking plaster' approach.
CATs, which include police community support officers, are highly visible and have become well known on their own particular beat.
They build local contacts, become familiar with local issues and cultivate a flow of information between the public and the police.
They also take enforcement action to deal with problems such as disorder, drinking, drug abuse and drug dealing, then follow through to provide permanent solutions to these problems, usually working with partner agencies.
The NPU Investigation Teams consist of plain clothes and uniform officers, working closely with the CAT officers, to identify and target offenders involved in local high-volume crime, such as burglary and vehicle crime.
* Next week the Pioneer will be introducing a new column in which officers of the CAT team describe their latest crime-busting operations.