Milestones, achievements and success Date published: 3rd October 2016 12am

Simon Byrne | Chief Constable

I am the Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary. I want to use this blog to provide information on the latest goings-on and provide updates on the future direction of policing in the county

It has been a busy few weeks since my last blog.

On a personal note I am really pleased to have been appointed to the Sentencing Council for England & Wales from 1st September and attended its meeting on Friday in London.  This is a body enshrined in legislation that is there to present a better understanding and more confidence with the Criminal Justice System as well as review and monitor the application of guidelines used by Judges and Magistrates when criminals are convicted.  A personal achievement I suppose, but also a Cheshire flag at a national table!

Operationally, my highlight has to be the arrest of a man for drug driving whilst on patrol with members of Cheshire’s Crime Car.  We were in Helsby en-route to a deployment to Widnes when our eagle eyed driver spotted an unusual looking vehicle which we subsequently stopped.  None of the occupants were from Cheshire; a timely reminder that nestled between two major cities and a network of motorways  we constantly need to be one step ahead of travelling criminals.

To help do this we have invested heavily in the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) – the cameras in cars that are really like a third eye for a patrol officer as the cameras mine the on-line intelligence databases to show which vehicles may justify being stopped. 

Another highlight of recent weeks has been watching the Channel 4 series ‘999: What’s your Emergency?’  So far over 8 million viewers have tuned in to watch officers in Crewe and Warrington deal with some of the other issues in policing from crime fighting to 24 hour social care.  What has especially impressed me is the conviction and sense of vocation from the officers and staff who appear on the programme and I am really proud of them!

On the back of this, for those of you who use Twitter, I hope you read or indeed took part in last week’s Twitterthon.  Over the course of 24 hours we gave a behind the scenes look at what makes for Force tick, covering the work of many of our back office functions as well as the frontline.  If you like an on-line ‘Open Day’. I hope that these types of initiatives give those we serve a better sense of what the force does – not just in our communities, but behind the scenes too. You can view some of the news coverage of the day from Granada Reports.

Celebrating the work of the Constabulary, it was the ACE Awards in September.  Acknowledging Cheshire Excellence – a bit like our Oscars – and hosted by TV personality Emma Jesson. David Keane (Police & Crime Commissioner) and I, recognised personal and team efforts from across the Constabulary, as well as the phenomenal efforts of the Cheshire Search and Rescue Team, who are made up of entirely of volunteers assisting the Force in its search for missing people.

Talking of volunteers, it was also really good news to see the head of the Special Constabulary – volunteer police officers – Celvyn Jones, recognised for his leadership by the prestigious Home Office sponsored Ferrers’ Awards.  A testament not only to Celvyn’s tireless work, but also that of his colleagues in the Special Constabulary.

Finally, another milestone, I am really pleased with.  In August ‘Cheshire Cares’, the service responsible for supporting victims of crime across the county, provided support to 3,000 people in 4 weeks.  A fantastic effort providing empathy and assistance to people from all sorts of different backgrounds at a particularly stressful time of their lives.