Removing criminals from the region's roads Date published: 10th March 2016 1.41pm

Criminals travelling across the borders between Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Shropshire yesterday, Wednesday 9 March 2016, as part of Operation Crossbow.

The operation was aimed at disrupting criminal activity across the region and denying criminals the use of the roads.

Using the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, officers were able to monitor virtually every vehicle which crossed the border between the four counties.

The operation was a great success and resulted in:

  • 4 arrests ( 3 for drug driving and 1 wanted man)
  • Nearly 250 vehicles stops
  • 16 vehicles seized
  • 47 traffic offence reports
  • 15 Partner enforcement offences

Inspector Steve Griffiths from Cheshire Police, 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 often rely on the road network to enable them to commit criminal offences. They don't view force boundaries as a bar to committing these offences and will often cross borders to conduct their activity. There is a link between the illegal use of vehicles and other serious crime.

"Working with partner agencies and colleagues from our neighbouring forces we are deploying a great range of resources and have access to technology and intelligence such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), which is an excellent tool to identify offenders and bring them to justice."

This is the fifth phase of the Constabulary’s Operation Crossbow, with previous operation resulting in more than 1,000 vehicles stops, more than 100 vehicle seizures and over 30 arrests for offences ranging from burglary to drugs possession to disqualified drivers.

The operation involved more than 150 officers from the four police forces, as well as officers from Central Motorway Policing Group and staff from Customs and Revenue and DVSA.

Inspector Griffiths added: “This operation was about using joint resources to make the roads in our region a hostile place for travelling criminals who do harm in our communities.

“We used dedicated resources and ANPR technology to identify and target criminals using the road network and it is heartening to see our partners, which include Driver Vehicles Standards, the Environment Agency, HMRC, the Licensing Authority and Trading Standards, supported this extensive police operation.

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

All agencies involved in the operation are keen to remind the public that they too can help keep our roads safer by reporting illegal use of vehicles to the police on 101. Alternatively information can be reported anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.