is the Home Office police
force responsible for policing the English
non-metropolitan county of Cheshire
and the unitary authorities
, and Widnes
) and Warrington
Under proposals made by the Home Secretary on February 6, 2006, it would merge with Merseyside Police to form a strategic police force, though these proposals were later abandoned.
The current Acting Chief Constable of the Cheshire Constabulary is Mr Graeme Gerrard. The two Assistant Chief Constables are Mr Garry Shewan and Mr David Baines.
Formed in 1857 it is now responsible for policing an area of 946 square miles (2,328.5 square kilometres) with a population of 980,000. The first Chief Constable was Captain Thomas Johnnes Smith, late of the Bedfordshire Militia. The first full Cheshire Police Committee met at the Crewe Arms Hotel, Crewe, on 3 February 1857 and the new Cheshire Constabulary was officially formed on 20 April 1857.
The first Headquarters was established at 4 Seller Street, Chester. In 1862 this office was removed to 1 Egerton Street, Chester and remained there until 1870, when it was removed to 113 Foregate Street, Chester. In 1893 the Court of Quarter Sessions approved the building of a new Headquarters which was erected at 142 Foregate Street, at a cost not exceeding £2,000 and this continued to be used, together with the adjoining buildings, until 1967. In 1967 a new purpose built Headquarters was opened at Nuns Road, Chester. This building served the Constabulary until 2004 when the Headquarters building moved to a purpose built state of the art complex at Clemonds Hey, Winsford.
In 1965, it had an establishment of 1,359 and an actual strength of 1,329.
The Museum of Policing in Cheshire preserves and researches the heritage of policing in the county.
Prior to 2004 six divisions existed based on the district/unitary council areas:
In late 2004 the structure was changed with three Areas, known as Basic Command Units (BCUs). Each BCU is headed by a Chief Superintendent.
- Northern Area, covering Warrington and Halton Unitary Areas
- Warrington Central
- Warrington East (Risley Police Station)
- Warrington South (Stockton Heath Police Station)
- Warrington West (Great Sankey Police Station)
- Eastern Area, covering the boroughs of Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe & Nantwich
- Western Area, covering the Chester and the boroughs of Vale Royal and Ellesmere Port & Neston
- Chester Inner (Police Office, Town Hall)
- Chester Outer (Chester Police Station)
- Ellesmere Port and Neston
- Western Rural (Dragonhall, Mickle Trafford and Frodsham Police Stations)
Basic command unit structure
Each area has several specialist teams, namely:
- Neighbourhood Policing Units (NPUs), each with local Community Action Teams and investigation team. The NPUs concentrate on preventing and detecting local crime and targeting offenders, building contacts in the local community, resolving problems by working with local organisations and individuals, and being visible and accessible.
- Targeted Patrol Teams responding to emergency calls
- Specialist Investigation Units detect serious crime
- Demand Management Units ensure incidents are dealt with promptly and the public get a better service
- Public Protection Units look after the vulnerable
- Intelligence Units and Pro-active Policing Units target persistent criminals
- Partnership Development Units
- Custody Investigation Teams
To support the BCUs, several centralised teams operate from the headquarters:
- Central Roads Policing Unit
- Centralised Crime Recording Bureau
- Contingency Planning/Events Coordinators
- Force Major Investigation Team
- Specialised Support Units
The Cheshire road system is made up of 3417 miles (5500 km) of highway. The constabulary is responsible for policing one of the longest stretches of motorway in Britain. The force patrols 214 miles (344 km) of the M6
motorways with 23 interchanges and four service areas. The M6 motorway across the Thelwall Viaduct carries some 140,000 vehicles per 24 hours. Delays and incidents on the motorway can have a severe impact on the economic life of the entire North West Region.
Air operations unit
Since December 2001 Cheshire Police have operated a Britten-Norman Islander
, registration G-CHEZ. This model of aircraft is used worldwide in a variety of roles. It is particularly suited to Police aviation as it is able to carry a wide range of equipment and stay airborne for long periods of time. This equipment allows it to operate during the day or night, in most weather conditions. It is cleared for flight in cloud and bad weather, but the majority of police operations require visual contact with the ground. If required, it can carry up to six persons.
The aircraft is operated by a team comprising of civilian pilots, four police observers and one sergeant ensure the aircraft is available all year. The aircraft is used to conduct a wide range of policing work providing emergency responses to incidents involving threat to life, commission of crime and searching for missing persons. It also conducts deployments for non-crime searches, scene management at incidents and video evidence gathering.
Cheshire Constabulary's crime statistics for recorded crimes are:
|| April 2005 - December 2006
|| April 2006 - December 2007
|| Percentage Change |
| Burglary (dwelling)
|| -9% |
| Burglary (other)
|| -8% |
| Theft from vehicle
|| -14% |
| Theft of vehicle
|| -17% |
| Violent offences
|| -6% |
| Other offences
|| -5% |
| Total crime
|| -7% |
Cheshire Constabulary and the media
During 2005/06, the force was featured in the BBC TV series Traffic Cops.