May 2020 Enewsletter – Firelink

March 2020 Enewsletter – Firelink

Welcome to the May edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.

Live business safety web chat – 27 May

We’re holding a LIVE question and answer session for businesses operating differently as a result of the government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines.

Are you a business owner or manager looking for fire safety guidance and advice in preparation for reopening? Or maybe you are open but need some guidance. Then please feel free to get involved.

You can send your questions in advance to or post a comment during the live Q&A session that is taking place on our Facebook page on Wednesday 27 May from 10:30am-11:30am.

Read more –  Live business safety web chat

Garden fires remain a cause for concern

Our firefighters had a very busy bank holiday weekend tackling garden fires. Some have caused extensive damage to homes and one garden fire resulted in serious burns for a casualty.

Please take extra care, don’t risk a fire and use garden waste bins.

Read more – Garden fires remain a cause for concern

Be Water Aware

During the current spell of warm weather, please don’t be tempted to cool off in rivers, canals, ponds, quarries or lakes. Cooling off in open water can have deadly consequences. Every year firefighters are called to incidents where people get into difficulty when cooling off in open water.

Read more – Be Water Aware

Stay up to date

To get up to date information from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service please follow @CheshireFire on Twitter, @CheshireFRS on Facebook or visit

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Helpdesks To Open Across Cheshire For Residents Who Have No Other Way of Reporting Crime

Helpdesks To Open Across Cheshire For Residents Who Have No Other Way of Reporting Crime

A number of helpdesks will be open across Cheshire for residents who have no other means of reporting crime during the lockdown. 

A total of 16 police stations will open for one hour a day to offer a service for members of the public who cannot contact the Constabulary online or via the phone.

These helpdesks will be for urgent issues where there is no other way of contacting police and social distancing measures will be adopted to ensure that everyone is kept safe

Opening times for the helpdesks will be posted on the doors of each station every week and publicised in advance via Cheshire Constabulary’s social media accounts.

Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: “We recognise that not everyone can contact us online or via the telephone during these unprecedented times.

“So we have made the decision to open the helpdesks at 16 of our stations for one hour a day so that the people who need our service but cannot contact the police via any others means can report urgent issues.

“This is not to be used for general enquiries and in line with the advice on keeping safe, only make the journey if absolutely essential.

“We are telling anyone who does come to the station to always keep to social distancing rules of staying 2 metres away from others.

“We will also be ensuring that measures are in place at the stations to keep the residents of Cheshire safe.

“Please only visit a police station if there is absolutely no alternative and the matter is urgent. In an emergency, where a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life, always dial 999.”

For general enquiries, please visit

The following stations will be open:

•    Blacon
•    Chester Town Hall
•    Congleton
•    Crewe
•    Ellesmere Port
•    Knutsford
•    Macclesfield
•    Nantwich
•    Northwich
•    Penketh
•    Risley
•    Runcorn
•    Stockton Heath
•    Warrington
•    Widnes
•    Wilmslow

Message Sent By
Peter Caldwell (Police, Digital Media Manager, Corporate Communications)

Chief Constable Praises Public For Support In Helping To Tackle the Spread of Coronavirus

Chief Constable Praises Public For Support In Helping To Tackle the Spread of Coronavirus

People across Cheshire are being praised for their community spirit in helping to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The majority of residents appear to be following the new regulations that have now been in place for almost five days in a bid to save lives and protect the NHS.

Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “It is really encouraging to see so many people in Cheshire being supportive, listening to the advice, taking it on board and staying at home where they can. I would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to play their part in the national effort.

“This is an unprecedented public health emergency and we are all having to make adjustments to the new measures, which are in place.

“We appreciate the difficulties and uncertainties that we are all facing. It is important to remember that this is something none of us have ever experienced before. We are all learning and, by the very nature of what we are dealing with and the fast pace of it, inevitably we will not always get things right as we get to grips with the circumstances.

“Our aim is always to engage with people, explain the reasons behind the new regulations, encourage them to take it on board and support the people we serve to ensure that everyone is fully complying with these restrictions and this is the message I am giving to my officers.

“Sadly, there have been a small number of cases when members of the public have refused and in such cases we may have to take enforcement action against those individuals involved.

“We police by consent, maintaining public confidence and caring for our communities is paramount so enforcement will always be a last option.”

There have been a number of cases across the county where members of the public have deliberately coughed in the faces of police officers, claiming to be infected with Coronavirus.

Yesterday (Monday 30 March) a 31-year-old man from Nantwich was jailed for eight months for deliberately spitting and coughing in the face of a Cheshire police officer. The incident took place on Friday night in Maplins Moss Place in Crewe as officers tried to arrest the man for being drunk and disorderly.

He was verbally abusive towards them before coughing and spitting in their faces.

There have also been a handful of other incidents of a similar nature.

Chief Constable Martland added: “This type of behaviour is disgraceful. Our officers are working in really challenging circumstances. They are putting their own lives and the lives of their families at risk on a daily basis. I want to acknowledge all police officers and police staff, who alongside other emergency workers, NHS staff and other key workers, are working on the frontline – they are doing outstanding work in exceptionally hard times.

“Our policing style in Cheshire is defined by our neighbourhood policing model, where officers, PCSOs and members of the Special Constabulary work to protect our communities and provide vital reassurance.

“This model, which has served us well and will continue, has enabled critical relationships to be developed with the public and our partners.

“We have been given extraordinary powers in an extraordinary situation, powers we would not normally wish to have, but I’d like to thank the public for helping and supporting us. We police with the consent of the communities we serve, so a positive relationship with those communities is of huge importance to us.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane added: “Cheshire police officers are carrying out a very difficult job in particularly difficult circumstances so it’s great to see that the majority of our communities are complying by these new measures to keep us safe.

“It is also essential that the new policing measures are enforced proportionately and I am continuing to work closely with the Chief Constable to seek assurances that the policing measures used closely follow the new government legislation.

“These new measures have been put in place for a very good reason, to protect our communities, save lives and to relive pressure on our wonderful NHS, and I would encourage you all to follow them.”

The new public health regulations, which came into force on Thursday 26 March, have been introduced to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel – unless for one of the following reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of their household
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home
  • Participating in gatherings of more than two people in public spaces is also not permitted except in very limited circumstances, for example, where it is for essential work purposes.

Full details of the measures are available on the Governments website.
Message Sent By
Peter Caldwell (Police, Digital Media Manager, Corporate Communications)

March 2020 Enewsletter – Firelink

March 2020 Enewsletter – Firelink

Welcome to the March edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter

How we’re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

It is a challenging time as we all adapt to the developing situation relating to COVID-19 but, rest assured, we are continuing to work hard to ensure both your safety and minimal impact on our services.

To minimise the spread of COVID-19 we are limiting non-essential contact with the public to help control the spread of the virus and to ensure our firefighters are available to respond to emergencies.

Find out more – How we’re dealing with the coronavirus pandemic

Draft IRMP Consultation Extended to 24 April

We have extended the deadline on our draft Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP)  consultation until Friday 24 April. This will give more time for people to have their say on plans for the future of Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service. Please visit our website to find out more information on our proposals and  have your say by completing a short online survey.

You can also provide feedback to us by emailing or in writing to Freepost Cheshire Fire Consultation (no stamp required).

In light of the current guidance regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, we will not be holding further consultation roadshows in the community. However, in addition to the methods above we will be looking to try and gather a range of views in different ways such as through telephone or Skype focus groups. If you would like to take part in one of these and provide your comments on our plans, then please provide your name, age, location and email address to and we can send you some more information.

Our approach to COVID-19 regarding enforcement

Over the coming weeks members of our protection department will be making desk top audits via the telephone to support businesses.

Under the requirements of The (fire safety) Order 2005, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service must continue to enforce fire safety legislation to keep the public and businesses safe. If at the time of the call you are not able to answer the questions due to business needs  you will be offered an appointment at a scheduled time agreeable by both parties.

For more information – Our approach to COVID-19 regarding enforcement
Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Call For Vigilance Following Spike In Thefts from Vehicles

Call For Vigilance Following Spike In Thefts from Vehicles

People living in Runcorn are being urged to be vigilant after thieves stole items from several vehicles in the town over the weekend.

Between 8am on Friday 20 March and 10.15am on Sunday 22 March Cheshire Constabulary received reports of vehicles having been targeted in the Grange, Windmill Hill and Castlefields areas.

Items stolen from cars and vans include tools, bags, cash and mobile phones.
Most of the vehicles were broken into, but some of them had been left unlocked by their owners.

Detective Inspector Rob Astbury, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “Having your possessions stolen by thieves is deeply upsetting.

“Enquiries are ongoing as we endeavour to establish who committed these offences and make them face the consequences of their actions.

“We have also stepped up patrols in a bid to actively target those responsible.

“To help combat this type of crime, I urge vehicle owners to be vigilant and to take steps to reduce their chances of becoming victims.

“Wherever you leave your vehicle, please ensure that it is secure and does not have any items of value on show.

“I also urge residents to report any suspicious activity to the police to further aid our ongoing battle against vehicle crime and help us to bring offenders to justice.”

Cheshire Constabulary’s anti-theft advice for vehicle owners is:

  • Park your vehicle in a well-lit area whenever it is possible to do so
  • Ensure that your vehicle is locked and secure with the windows up whenever you are not inside it, even if you are only leaving it unattended for a brief moment
  • Do not leave valuable items inside your vehicle
  • Do not leave anything that may attract an opportunist thief visible in your vehicle and never be tempted to hide valuable items in the glovebox or under seats
  • Tools should never be left in full view and should not be kept inside a vehicle overnight wherever possible
  • If your vehicle does not have an alarm, get one fitted by a professional so that you and anyone nearby will be alerted to a break-in
  • Remember to activate your alarm whenever you get out of your vehicle
  • Do not forget to remove your satnav and the fascia of your car stereo when you get out of the vehicle − ensure that you detach the cradle
  • Also remember to wipe away the mark from the windscreen that is left by the suction pad, as this is a telltale sign for thieves that you have a satnav.

Anyone with any information or footage regarding thefts from vehicles in Runcorn is urged to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or give the details via

Information can also be reported anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Action Fraud Have Issued A Warning Following the Increase In Coronavirus-Related Frauds

Action Fraud Have Issued A Warning Following the Increase In Coronavirus-Related Frauds

Recently the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) reported a new trend in fraud related to Coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Updated figures show there have been 105 reports to Action Fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000.

The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.

Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.

Beware of phishing emails –

Action Fraud have received over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed phishing emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

• Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area but to access this information the victim needs to either: click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page; or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account.

• Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates.

• Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn.

• Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing.

Graeme Biggar, Director General of the National Economic Crime Centre, said:

“We have already seen fraudsters using the COVID-19 pandemic to scam people looking to buy medical supplies online, sending emails offering fake medical support and targeting people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home.

“These frauds try to lure you in with offers that look too good to be true, such as high return investments and ‘healthcare opportunities’, or appeals for you to support those who are ill or bogus charities.

“The advice is simple, think very carefully before you hand over your money, and don’t give out your personal details unless you are sure who you are dealing with.

Protect yourself –

1) Watch out for scam messages

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

2) Shopping online:

If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit:

3) Protect your devices from the latest threats:

Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

For information on how to update your devices, please visit:

For the latest health information and advice about COVID-19 please visit the NHS website.

Coronavirus phishing examples March 2020 generic.png – 724.8 KB

Message Sent By
Daniel Millington (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Media Officer, Corporate Communications)

Burglaries In Runcorn

Burglaries In Runcorn

Detectives investigating four burglaries in one week at houses in Runcorn are urging the public to be vigilant and appealing for information.

Between Monday 6 January and Monday 13 January homes on Norton Lane, Goldcrest Close, Halton Brow and The Uplands were targeted by burglars either during the day or during the evening.

Once inside offenders have ransacked the house and stolen jewellery or cash from inside.

Officers believe all the burglaries are linked and are encouraging the public to take extra security measures as a precaution to help keep your home secure.

  • Close and double lock all doors and windows
  • Set your burglar alarm
  • Make sure all valuables are out of sight
  • In the evening, shut the curtains and leave lights on

Detective Sergeant Rob McLoughlin, of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: “Being burgled can be a distressing crime and while we continue with our investigation I want to take this opportunity to remind people to remain vigilant and take extra home security measures.

“We are currently following a number of lines of enquiry however, I am also keen to hear from anyone who may have seen people acting suspiciously around these areas or have information which could help the investigation, to get in touch.

“I am also keen to see if anyone noticed any vehicles near to the shop to come forward. If you have dashcam footage please submit it through to us.”

If you have information, either contact Cheshire Police on 101 quoting IML 611359, through our website by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their website

More information on how to help keep your home safe and secure from burglars can be found here

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Warning Due To A Rise In Courier Fraud Crimes

Warning Due To A Rise In Courier Fraud Crimes

We’re issuing an urgent warning to residents after three elderly victims were conned out of more than £60,000 by fraudsters posing as police officers and bank workers.

Courier frauds are mainly committed by organised crime groups (OCGs). A member of the OCG, known as the ‘victim communicator’ makes phone calls to vulnerable potential victims, usually the more elderly members of the community, telling them they are a police officer or work at the bank.

They persuade the victim to cooperate with an ‘operation’ designed to gather evidence or identify offenders responsible for a fictional offence. The victims are asked to withdraw money from their bank, purchase an expensive item and/or provide their bank details or card to assist with the operation.

The money, item or documents are handed over to another member of the gang, the ‘courier’, who attends the victim’s address or meets them nearby, on the promise that the money or item will be returned or compensation provided.

In the last 28 days alone, three Cheshire victims have been conned out of more than £60,000 in cash and goods. Two victims in Crewe both handed over more than £10,000 each after withdrawing cash and giving it to fraudsters in the mistaken belief they were assisting police officers. One victim in Alderley Edge has lost £20,000 cash and over £20,000 in goods while there was a narrow escape for a Congleton victim who tried make a withdrawal from the bank but, thankfully, the Banking Protocol* was followed which prevented them from losing their money.

In the other five cases the potential victims realised there was a potential scam in progress and informed the police.

Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques from Cheshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit said: “Nationally, courier fraud is a growing problem with over 1000 offences committed in the last six months. A national awareness campaign is being launched this week to target offenders, which we will be supporting.

“I would strongly urge anyone receiving calls asking for money to be withdrawn and handed over to a courier to immediately phone the police on 101 or report the incident to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Police, banks or other such services don’t cold call so, if you do receive a phone call purporting to be from one of these organisations, don’t be taken in by what they say. They are not genuine.”

Officers have issued general advice on how to spot and avoid courier fraud:

  • Police officers, banks or other such organisations will never ask you for cash or your bank details.
  • If you do receive a potential courier fraud call us on 101 or report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
  • If someone is trying to rush you into doing something regarding your bank account it is likely they are involved in a scam.
  • Do you bank with one particular bank but the person on the phone is talking about a different one – even if they do have the right bank, it doesn’t mean it is legitimate.

*The Banking Protocol trains bank staff to spot when someone is about to fall victim to a scam and will try to prevent them from withdrawing cash to give to a fraudster, after which they can request an immediate police response to the branch.  52 payment service providers, including all the main high street banks and the Post Office, are now fully signed up to the Banking Protocol and have trained up their front-line branch staff in the steps that need to be taken when a customer is at risk. Since March 2018, the scheme has been implemented by all 45 police forces across the UK.

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Have Your Say on the Policing Precept For Cheshire

Have Your Say on the Policing Precept For Cheshire

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is asking residents and businesses for their views on how much council tax they pay towards local policing.

PCC David Keane has today (Tuesday 7 January) launched an online consultation to ask local people if they would be willing to support up to a maximum of £2 per month increase in the policing precept for the average band D household.

You can complete the online survey here: Have your say on police funding

There will also be a number of roadshows held across Cheshire where residents can talk to the commissioner directly about their views on the precept and complete the survey face-to-face.

He said: “Over the last decade police funding has been subject to stringent funding cuts from central Government. This has seen the policing budget in Cheshire decrease in real-terms year-on-year since 2010. In a decade where demand on policing has increased by one third, and become increasingly complex, the government’s programme of austerity has meant that Cheshire has suffered a big decrease in police officers, support staff posts and other essential resources as we’ve struggled with more than £60 million of real term cuts.

“Whilst imposing cuts nationally, central government has dictated the shift of the funding burden onto local residents, requiring commissioners to consult on raising the policing element of council tax. Whilst I believe that policing should be funded from government as the first responsibility of the state is keeping its people safe, I promised to protect our public and our public services and to carefully listen to the views of local residents.

“Historically, this annual consultation is set around the government’s Provisional Police Funding Settlement which local police services usually receive in December. Due to the late general election in 2019, police services are yet to receive their Provisional Funding Settlement for 2020/21 so we have to work on an assumption of the continuance of a flat-cash settlement from Government with no additional funding to support additional demand or to cover pay and price inflation. The chief constable has advised me to consult with Cheshire residents on a precept that enables him to deliver a police service which keeps our communities safe.

“At £200.44, the police element of band D council tax in Cheshire is currently the ninth lowest in the country. And thanks to the support of local residents in last year’s policing precept, we have delivered on our promise of locally recruiting 43 officers in the last nine months.

“We are also expecting to see some of the police officer posts, of the circa 21,000 that have been lost over the last decade, start to be replaced by the government funded national uplift programme. Cheshire are expecting to see 30 of these officers this year which will start to help us reverse the effects of austerity on policing but while these officers may be funded, there appears no protection for the current budget and for current officer numbers in Cheshire to be maintained.

“Therefore, the chief constable and I are asking residents and businesses in Cheshire if they are willing to support up to an extra £2 per month increase for the average band D household. This will enable the chief constable to invest in a number of areas which are operational threats for Cheshire Police including county lines, major crime and modern slavery and human trafficking.”

The public consultation events will be taking place at the following locations on the following dates:

  • Chester – Tesco, Frodsham Square, Thursday 9 January, 1pm-3pm
  • Runcorn – Runcorn Shopping City, Friday 10 January, 10am-12noon
  • Widnes – Morrisons, Green Oaks Way, Friday 10 January, 1pm-3pm
  • Warrington – Cockhedge Shopping Centre, Thursday 16 January, 1pm-3pm
  • Macclesfield – Sainsbury’s, Cumberland Street, Friday 17 January, 10am-12noon
  • Middlewich – Morrisons, Newton Bank, Friday 17 January, 2pm-4pm
  • Crewe – Tesco, Vernon Way, Thursday 23 January, 1pm-3pm
  • Ellesmere Port – The Market, Friday 24 January, 10am-12noon
  • Northwich – Asda, Leicester Street, Friday 24 January, 2pm-4pm

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 26 January 2020.

Message Sent By
Ashley Lawton (Cheshire Police / Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Administrator, Corporate Communications)

Firelink Enewsletter – December 2019

Firelink Enewsletter – December 2019

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