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Cheshire Constabulary

Cheshire Constabulary
Logo of the Cheshire Constabulary
Agency overview
Formed 1857
Annual budget £177M (2011–12)
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Police area of Cheshire in the country of England, UK
Map of police area
Size 905 square miles (2,340 km2)
Population 1.03 million
Legal jurisdiction England & Wales
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Clemonds Hey, Winsford
Constables 2,013[1]
Police and Crime Commissioner responsible John Dwyer, (C)
Agency executive Simon Byrne , Chief Constable
Local Policing Unitss 1
Stations 22
* Police area agency: Prescribed geographic area in the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Cheshire Constabulary is the territorial police force responsible for policing the English unitary authorities of Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton (including Runcorn, and Widnes) and Warrington. The force is responsible for policing an area of 946 square miles (2,450 km2) with a population of roughly 1 million.

The Chief Constable of the Cheshire Constabulary since 2014 is Simon Byrne. He was the Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police from 2009 to 2011 and the Assistant Commissioner for Territorial Policing in the Metropolitan Police Service from 2011 until his appointment in late 2014, taking over from David Whatton by unanimous approval by the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel in late February 2014.[2]

The Deputy Chief Constable is Janette McCormick. The two Assistant Chief Constables are Guy Hindle and Mark Roberts.[3]


  • History 1
  • Governance 2
    • Chief Constables 2.1
  • Organisation 3
    • Force structure 3.1
    • Basic command unit structure 3.2
    • Headquarters-based teams 3.3
    • Road policing 3.4
    • Creamfields 3.5
    • Air operations unit 3.6
  • Collaborations 4
  • Crime statistics 5
  • Cheshire Constabulary and the media 6
  • Officers killed in the line of duty 7
  • See also 8
  • External links 9
  • References 10


A constabulary was first formed under the Cheshire Constabulary Act 1852.

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.[4]

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. In 1893 the Court of Quarter Sessions approved the building of a new Headquarters which was erected at 142 Foregate Street and designed by John Douglas, at a cost not exceeding £2,000. This continued to be used, together with the adjoining buildings, until 1967, when 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 complex at Clemonds Hey, Winsford.[4] In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,359 and an actual strength of 1,329.[5]

It was proposed by the Home Secretary on 6 February 2006 that Cheshire should merge with the Merseyside Police, to form a strategic police force,[6] but these proposals were later abandoned.

The Museum of Policing in Cheshire preserves and researches the heritage of policing in the county.


Since 15 November 2012 the Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner is John Dwyer. The police and crime commissioner is scrutinised by the Cheshire Police and Crime Panel, made up of elected councillors from the local authorities in the police area. Before November 2012 the Cheshire Police Authority was the police governance.

Chief Constables


Force structure

Before 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
    • Runcorn
    • Warrington Central
    • Warrington Town Centre
    • Warrington East (Risley Police Station)
    • Warrington South (Stockton Heath Police Station)
    • Warrington West (Penketh Police Station)
    • Widnes
  • Eastern Area, serving the unitary area of Cheshire East
    • Congleton (Alsager, Congleton, Middlewich and Sandbach Police Stations)
    • Crewe
    • Knutsford
    • Macclesfield
    • Nantwich
    • Wilmslow
  • Western Area, serving the unitary area of Cheshire West & Chester
    • Chester Inner (Police Office, Town Hall)
    • Chester Outer (Blacon Police Station, Chester)
    • Ellesmere Port and Neston
    • Northwich
    • Western Rural (Dragonhall, Mickle Trafford and Frodsham Police Stations)
    • Winsford

Basic command unit structure

Each area has several specialist teams, namely:

  • Neighbourhood Policing Units (NPUs), each with local Neighbourhood Policing Teams and investigation teams. 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
  • Criminal Investigation Departments (CID) detect serious crime
  • Customer Service Desks ensure incidents are dealt with promptly and the public get a better service
  • Public Protection Units deal with Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment, Honour-based Violence, Elder Abuse and Child Protection.
  • Intelligence Units and Pro-active Policing Units target persistent criminals
  • Partnership Development Units
  • Custody Investigation Units(CIU), consist of a combination of interviewing Police Officers and Civilian Staff members who interview persons detained in the Custody Suite suspected of committing an offence.

Headquarters-based 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

Road policing

The Cheshire road system is made up of 3,417 miles (5,499 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, M62, M53 and M56 motorways, which has 23 interchanges and 4 service areas. The M6 motorway across the Thelwall Viaduct carries 140,000 vehicles every 24 hours. Delays and incidents on the motorway can have a severe impact on the economic life of the entire North West Region.[7]


Cheshire Constabulary is responsible for policing the annual Creamfields dance and music festival that takes place over the August bank holiday weekend every year at Daresbury in Halton, close to Runcorn and Warrington.

Air operations unit

Since December 2001 Cheshire Police have operated a Britten-Norman Islander fixed-wing aircraft, 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 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.

On 27 February 2009, the Constabulary confirmed that the Home Office had agreed to jointly fund the purchase of a new £1 million Eurocopter EC135 aircraft, to be operational 24 hours a day.[8]

On 18 July 2011, the North West Air Operations Group (NWAOG) was launched. The NWAOG is a regional collaboration between five forces and police authorities. The service dispatches aircraft from a regional command desk to incidents across Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales.

The five forces in the North have four helicopters, based at four different locations throughout the North West, providing a service anywhere in the region, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With 24-hour cover, the collaboration will enable the five forces to cope better with demand, with efficient use of all four helicopters, whilst enabling forces to make further savings and maintain resilience across the region. This is a move away from the concept of having one helicopter serving one region, to adopting the identity of one unit with support provided to all five forces

The collaboration allows for considerable savings, while offering an improved air support service. Benefits of the arrangement include the facility to have the closest helicopter deployed quickly to any incident and if there are two incidents in the same force area, then two helicopters can be deployed as necessary.


Cheshire Constabulary is a partner in the following collaborations:

Crime statistics

Cheshire Constabulary's crime statistics for recorded crimes are:[9]

April 2005 – December 2006 April 2006 – December 2007 Percentage Change
Burglary (dwelling) 3657 3333 −9%
Burglary (other) 4960 4566 −8%
Theft from vehicle 6382 5472 −14%
Theft of vehicle 2645 2195 −17%
Violent offences 14942 14038 −6%
Other offences 40524 38575 −5%
Total crime 73110 68179 -7%

Cheshire Constabulary and the media

During 2005/06, the force was featured in the BBC TV series Traffic Cops.[10]

Former Chief Constable Peter Fahy called for the legal age of buying alcohol to increase to the age of 21 as a result of the Garry Newlove murder in 2007.[11]

Officers killed in the line of duty

The Police Roll of Honour Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty. The Police Memorial Trust since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.

Since 1788 the following officers of Cheshire Constabulary were killed while attempting to prevent, stop or resolve a crime:[12]

  • Officer John Parry, 1788 (killed arresting a suspect on warrant).
  • Police Constable Charles Alfred Cartledge, 1894 (fatally injured stopping a disturbance).
  • Police Constable Alfred Kerns, 1900 (fatally injured during a struggle with two men).

See also

External links

  • Cheshire Police
  • Museum of Policing in Cheshire


  1. ^ "Tables for 'Police workforce, England and Wales, 31 March 2013". HM Government. Office for National Statistics. 31 March 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Crime Panel Approves Cheshire's New Chief Constable". Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cheshire Constabulary – Chief officers". Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Cheshire Constabulary: History of Cheshire Constabulary (accessed 27 May 2010)
  5. ^ The Thin Blue Line, Police Council for Great Britain Staff Side Claim for Undermanning Supplements, 1965
  6. ^ "Police mergers outlined by Clarke". BBC News website. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Road policing". Cheshire Police website. Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  8. ^ "Aircraft Purchase=Chester Chronicle". Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  9. ^ "Crime statistics". Cheshire Police website. Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  10. ^ "Traffic Cops". Cheshire Police website. Retrieved 1 March 2007. 
  11. ^ "Police chief urges alcohol action". BBC News website. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2008. 
  12. ^
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