POLICE have significantly improved their ability to tackle serious and organised crime.
Cheshire Constabulary has invested even more into operations targeting criminal gangs who, for example, use the profits from drugs to fund organised activities.
Peter Nurse, chairman of Cheshire Police Authority, said: “We have invested heavily in improving this area of policing which has been assessed by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary and is described as showing ‘significant improvement’.
“Cheshire does have a significant number of serious criminals operating within its borders.”
Last year, the Authority invested in technology and staff to better gather and analyse intelligence about organised criminal gangs.
Its Crime Operations Unit has worked on 40% more cases than the previous year, resulting in more than 30 arrests and more than 100 years worth of prison sentences.
Armed robbers, drug dealers, sex offenders and money counterfeiters have all had their collars felt by the law.
This unit has also conducted more than 40 house searches of people suspected of being involved in using child abuse images, have recovered tens of thousands of images and currently have 15 investigations ongoing.
The Covert Policing Unit has carried out more than 500 days worth of surveillance, resulting in more than 100 arrests and the Economic Crime Unit has seized more than £2million in cash, 75% more than last year.
The money and assets seized are shared between the Crown Prosecution Service, courts and police where it is reinvested into policing.
County Cllr Nurse said: “We are delighted our investment is paying off.
“The budget set by the Authority this year allows £2.6m to be invested in more officers to tackle serious crime.
“This was something which the public told us was important to them and we considered when setting the council tax. It will make a real difference to the safety of the people of Cheshire.”