Criminals travelling between North Wales and Cheshire border targeted in Operation Crossbow
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Cross border criminals travelling between North Wales and Cheshire were today targeted as part of Operation Crossbow.
The high visibility day of action saw North Wales Police and Cheshire Constabulary join forces with British Transport Police, deploying more than 200 officers across Flintshire, Wrexham and Chester in a bid to disrupt criminals using the border’s main arterial routes.
Officers patrolled and monitored railway stations across Flintshire, while earlier in the day, North Wales and Cheshire Police executed a number of warrants in the Flintshire area where a stolen motorbike, a sword, drugs and a phone was recovered.
Stop checks were made on a number of vehicles suspected to be linked to criminal activity and operating on the roads illegally, with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras used to intercept vehicles known to the police.
Partners including Flintshire Council licensing officers supported the operation by teaming up with officers to target taxis across the county in areas vulnerable to county lines criminality, while the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) conducted roadside commercial vehicle checks on the A494 and A483.
Immigration enforcement officers were deployed to work alongside local officers to target premises suspected to be linked with criminal activity, while Trading Standards officers in Wrexham and Flintshire were out tackling doorstep crime, offering advice to residents on how to keep themselves safe from exploitation.
Police Search Advisers (POLSA) assisted public service students at Deeside College to carry out knife sweep searches at four local parks as part of a community policing project, while underwater search units were on hand throughout the day.
Plain clothed female officers were also out walking routes used by secondary school pupils within Flintshire as part of a preventative policing activity, with the aim of disrupting anti-social predatory behaviour and identify anyone giving unwanted attention to school pupils.
The day also saw officers clamping down on anti-social behaviour, with North Wales and Cheshire off-road police bikes targeting known routes used by off-road bikes for cross-border drug supply, while also clamping down on anti-social riding, with support from the drone’s team.
In addition, the A548 coastal corridor was patrolled by marked bikes, looking out for Fatal 5 offences before targeting motorcycles in and out of Deeside Industrial Estate – a known problem area for serious injury collisions.
The Rural Crime Team was also supported by Natural Resources Wales targeting metal scrap yards and checking waste carrier licences.
The visible and high-profile presence was intended to send a strong warning to anyone associated with or linked to serious and organised crime.
The operation in North Wales resulted in:
5 x arrests
3 x positive warrants
9 x vehicle seizures
13 people and vehicles searched
5 x traffic offence reports
29 x speeding offences
3 x seatbelt offences
More than 30 intelligence submissions
3 x locations searched, and drugs paraphernalia located to support local intelligence
6 x visits to cuckooed addresses conducted and vulnerable people spoken with
North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop said: “This successful day of action achieved its main objective of coming together with colleagues in Cheshire Police and the British Transport Police to disrupt against criminals who rely on the roads and rail network to cross the North Wales and Cheshire border to commit offences.
“With a strong link between serious and organised crime and the illegal use of vehicles, it was vital that we worked together to target these main arterial routes to disrupt criminals operating in our areas.
“We cannot underestimate the impact of cross-border crime on our local communities. County Line gangs exploit the most vulnerable people in our communities, including children and young people. They are intimated, coerced, threatened and often subject to violence.
“We remain absolutely committed to working with neighbouring forces to pursue offenders and together, we will continue to make North Wales the safest place to live, work and visit.
“I hope this operation has reassured residents that we will do all we can to protect the public we serve and take those who commit crimes off our streets.”
ACC Allsop added: “Operations of this scale are always led by our most skilled and talented officers, and as we celebrate International Women's Day today, I am pleased that this major operation was led by two female gold commanders for both North Wales and Cheshire Police, in addition to two female Chief Inspectors from North Wales Police.
“This is just one example of the amazing work our female officers and staff undertake every day and is testament to their hard work and dedication to their roles.”
Chief Superintendent Sian Beck said: “It has been a fantastic day highlighting the work that goes on to tackle cross-border criminality with our colleagues in Cheshire Constabulary, British Transport Police, and our local partners.
“I hope it has sent out a clear message that our response doesn’t stop when we reach the border.
“A range of activities took place throughout the operation, actioning community-based intelligence and proactively policing the road and rail network which has benefitted the whole of North Wales.
“A whole host of tactics were also used to disrupt criminals operating in our area, which we use regularly as part of our everyday policing to target those who cause the most harm to our communities.
“If you have concerns about crime and antisocial behaviour taking place in your neighbourhood, please let us know by speaking to a local officer, using our website which has a direct link to your local neighbourhood policing team, or through our North Wales Community Alert system here - Home - North Wales Community Alert.”
Cheshire Constabulary Deputy Chief Constable, Chris Armitt, said: “Operation Crossbow is a joined-up response to policing the region’s borders including those who use road and rail networks to commit criminality and send a strong message to individuals associated with or linked to serious and organised crime.
“During this day of action, we have shown our continued commitment to the communities of Cheshire and North Wales and our promise to make the region a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.
“This operation is an extension of the excellent work that we already do between the forces on a daily basis and to further prevent criminals who may choose to move their criminality into other neighbouring areas as a result of the disruption.
“We know 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 in North Wales and British Transport Police to target these criminals as they travel across the region.
“We will not stop pursuing those who are intent on travelling to Cheshire in order to commit crime and we will continue doing all we can to protect the public that we serve and reinforces the message that those intent on causing harm are not welcome in Cheshire.”
British Transport Police Chief inspector Dave Rams said: "Our officers continue to patrol trains in and out of the city targeting those who are intent on using the railway in pursuit of their criminal endeavours.
"Working together by combining our resources sends a powerful message to criminals that they will be stopped.
"Whether you are a rail passenger or a member or rail staff we are always focused on your safety.
"To report a crime on the network or if you spot something that doesn't look right you can text us discreetly using our 61016 number. In an emergency always call 999."