Summer crackdown on speeding and violent crime Date published: 31st August 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 seems a little while since I put pen to paper to give you some brief insights about issues facing the Constabulary.

Over the summer we have concentrated on two issues while Cheshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner, David Keane, consults widely with the public on his new Police & Crime Plan. Firstly, a crackdown on road safety – not just a focus on traditional places where crash risks increase, but more visibility ‘off the beaten track’, so to speak, in those villages where the curse of speeding often blights people’s lives. It’s a little ironic, then, that many of the people we catch in enforcement operations in our villages are often people who live locally and are part of the same communities that worry about the dangers of speeding.  Our initiative ‘Drive Safe’ is not a flash in the pan but will continue as we now have special detection equipment in each of our local policing areas, and we will roll out four new highly visible speed detection vans in the coming weeks.

On another point we have been far more assertive enforcing the law around issues driven by alcohol misuse, especially related to the night time economy, as we know that over 50 per cent of all violence against the person takes place in public places, including licensed premises. Frankly, a number of nightclubs and bars have felt the wrath of this no-nonsense approach as violent crime has risen across the County.

We have to be more agile now to bring this increase in crime under control. A lot of what we are seeing is more accurate recordings of petty bust-ups and abuse that often results in little or no injury.  The world of crime recording against steadily stricter national standards is complex so I won’t attempt to explain the detail here.  But it is happening across the entire country and we need to make sure we either police it out through a smarter presence, or work with others to try and solve some of the more enduring problems that are fuelling this rise, be it bigotry, intolerance, short tempers – or, fuelling all three – alcohol abuse.  An insight into just how difficult this is can be gleaned from watching the Channel 4 documentary series ‘999: What’s Your Emergency?’ which was filmed in Cheshire.

Some people are always anxious about opening up the Force to ‘fly on the wall’ scrutiny like this. However, I think it is worth the risk to ensure that the public understand what we do and why.   You will see the split-second decision-making process our staff are involved in around the clock.  What you see clearly is a workforce that cares, shows compassion, listens, yet is not afraid to enforce the law and act when we need to.  I am very proud to lead an organisation that oozes professionalism and is rooted in the communities we serve.

Pictured above right is ACC Sarah Boycott with Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane.