Crime reduction operation helps to protect rural communities Date published: 25th April 2017 12.25pm

Officers from Cheshire Police have launched Operation Shield around the new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon by-pass in partnership with Costain.

The aim of the operation is to protect thousands of residents and businesses in rural Cheshire by using innovative marking techniques to link criminals to their crime scenes.

Operation Shield has been rolled out in communities such as High Legh, Tabley, Mere, Rostherne, Millington and Little Bollington adjacent to the new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon by-pass.

The operation uses a state-of-the-art forensic liquid containing “Selecta DNA” unique to each property and can be used to mark belongings, so it can be returned to the owner regardless of where it is recovered. The liquid is barely visible and extremely difficult to remove, so if an offender is caught in possession of stolen items, they can be linked directly back to the scene of the crime.

As part of the operation officers have visiting address across the local area to distribute kits and demonstrate how they work.

Due to the success of the operation, Police have been working with Costain, builders of the new A556 Knutsford to Bowdon by-pass, who have provided funding to supply the kits to residents who reside near to the new by-pass.

PC Mike Dawber, Rural Beat Officer for Knutsford said “This operation demonstrates that the Constabulary along with its partners will continue to tackle Rural Crime in all its forms, and this sends out a clear message that Cheshire will not be a soft touch for criminals.

“We have worked hard to tackle rural criminality in Cheshire. The Constabulary was one of only a few Police forces that saw a reduction when the last rural crime figures were produced. Knutsford is a very low crime area and this operation will help to make villages safer still and reduce the likelihood of crime further.”

Chris Burrows, Costain Community Liaison Manager for the A556 Knutsford to Bowdon project, said: “Costain are very pleased to be actively involved with the Cheshire Constabulary initiative and assisting with something that will have long lasting benefits to the local communities.”