Cross-border criminals targeted in Widnes phase of Operation Crossbow Date published: 11th November 2015 1.50pm

Criminals travelling across the border between Cheshire and Merseyside are being targeted today, Wednesday November 11, in the latest phase of Operation Crossbow.

The partnership operation involves officers from Cheshire Constabulary and Merseyside Police and is aimed at disrupting criminal activity across the region and denying criminals the use of the roads.

The day of action also forms part of the Constabulary’s Blue Christmas campaign, which was launched earlier this week to help people protect themselves and their property and which will feature a range of crime prevention messages, safety advice and operational activity.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Beauchamp said: “We are relentless in our pursuit of organised crime and will use a whole host of tactics to disrupt criminals working in our region. Criminals do not simply stop committing crimes when they reach the police border, but instead they rely on the road network to enable them to commit criminal offences.“There is a strong link between the illegal use of vehicles and other serious and organised crime, which is why we are working together with our colleagues to target these criminals as they travel across the region.

“There are more than 60 officers taking part, who all have access to technology and intelligence such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), which is an excellent tool to allow officers to identify offenders and bring them to justice.”

Chief Inspector Chris Gibson, of Merseyside Police added: “This operation shows the determination and commitment of the regions police who are out in force to intercept and disrupt those using the regions road for criminal purposes.

“Working closely with neighbouring Forces such as Cheshire, we can ensure that those who are determined to carry out their illegal activities using our roads are caught and brought to justice.”

This is the fifth phase of the Constabulary’s Operation Crossbow. It previously focused on the eastern area of the county and saw 700 vehicles stopped, which led to 60 vehicle seizures and 23 arrests for offences ranging from burglary to drugs possession to disqualified drivers.

DCI Beauchamp added: “Our action this morning should provide reassurance to our communities that we’re here for justice – that we’re here, when and where you need us to tackle these criminals and get them off our roads ahead of the festive season. We expect it to be a blue Christmas for many criminals after today.

“The message is clear – if you use stolen vehicles, you drive illegally, you travel the roads to commit crime, we will target you.”

The public can also help keep our roads safe by reporting illegal use of vehicles to the police on 101. Alternatively information can be reported anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.