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 https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

More information on how to help keep your home safe and secure from burglars can be found here https://www.cheshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/leaving-your-home-checklist/

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)