The first phase of a police operation to tackle burglars who target rural Cheshire has been hailed a success.

Operation Shield has been rolled out over the past three weeks in Malpas, where more than 800 properties have now received property marking kits which use forensic liquid to link criminals back to their crime scenes if ever that property is stolen.

PC Gerard Gigg, who is leading the crackdown along with Malpas Parish Council, says it has been ‘extremely well-received’ so far.

“As time has gone by, more and more residents have been enquiring as to when they are receiving their unique property kit as they have heard about it through the village, from friends and family who have already received their kits,” said PC Gigg, who is beat manager for more than 20 parishes across the south rural area of Cheshire.

“The engagement and involvement through working with partner agencies has been key to hopefully making Malpas – which is already a safe place to live – safer still.”

Neighbouring parishes are next up on the Operation Shield hit-list in the coming weeks and into 2017.

Police are appealing to any residents who have not yet made arrangements to obtain their own personal property marking kit to call 101 and request to leave a message for PC Gigg or PCSO Jon Hurst.