A dramatic drop in crime over the festive and New Year period in the city centre is down to more proactive policing, say police.
In the week before Christmas just 63 crimes were recorded in Chester city centre – a reduction of 44% on last year’s figures.
The findings come after months of increased policing in the city, with more uniformed officers hitting the streets in an attempt to deter booze-fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour.
In the week running up to Christmas just 37 people were arrested in Chester city centre, with the vast majority of the offenders being locked-up for public disorder offences.
And on New Year’s Eve police took to the streets in force arresting 13 people for offences including being drunk and disorderly, drink driving, assault and criminal damage.
During the festive period police attempted to clamp-down on drugs related crime in the city, shoplifting and alcohol-fuelled anti-social behaviour, running a series of special operations which saw police hit the streets in force.
During December officers used a passive police dog to sniff out revellers using and dealing drugs in the city during Operation Microscope, searching 50 people and charging four revellers with drug possession, one for possession of cannabis, and two for possessing needles and syringes.
And in Operation Garagon police worked in close collaboration with CCTV operators to monitor retail crime in the city for well known shoplifters. They also handed out jingle bells at the Town hall police station – bells which help alert shoppers their bags and wallets are being tampered with.
Sergeant Andy Burrage highlighted Operation Huntsville as a success, with robust policing targeting potential troublemakers and issuing Section 27 notices – ordering revellers to leave the city for 48 hours.
“Throughout the whole festive period as expected there has been a significant demand on the police, whether it be through increased numbers in the city, weather related incidents, or owing to unusual police demands,” said Sgt Burrage.
“I am pleased to say that policing operations have been a success with a reduction in reported crime during the period.
“I would like to thank our partner agencies in helping us to keep the city safe; be they CCTV operators, CWaC safety wardens, Chester Against Business Crime and my colleagues within Cheshire Police working all manner of unsocial hours.”