Police and crime commissioner David Keane has held another question and answer session with chief constable Darren Martland to answer Cheshire residents’ questions on how Cheshire Constabulary is policing the Coronavirus pandemic.

CC Darren Martland responded to questions on how police are imposing the government restrictions during the lockdown, how they are protecting staff working on the front line and how the Constabulary is dealing with domestic abuse.

He gave an update on the 4 Es approach of engaging with communities to explain the legislation and encourage compliance with enforcement action only taken as a last resort. He said that the vast majority of the public in Cheshire are fully compliant with the legislation and the need to resort to enforcement action is minimal.

The chief also outlined that in recent weeks there had been a marginal increase in reports of domestic abuse and that working with partners to tackle this hidden crime remains a priority for the Constabulary.

This follows a campaign recently launched by PCC David Keane to promote domestic abuse support services across Cheshire with a poster campaign in supermarkets to try and reach out to victims when they are alone.

The session was also used to outline other policing priorities to keep Cheshire safe and to provide an update on PPE (personal protective equipment) being provided for officers and staff working on the front line.

The PCC and chief also thanked members of the Special Constabulary who had volunteered their time, giving up more than 4,600 hours to police the pandemic last month – an increase of 563 on February.
PCC David Keane said: “These sessions provide an opportunity for members of our communities to seek reassurance on what Cheshire Constabulary is doing to keep us safe during the ongoing pandemic.

“It is encouraging to see that our domestic abuse campaign seems to be working with more victims coming forward to report their abusive partners. It is also reassuring to see that the majority of Cheshire residents continue to follow government advice by staying home. This is not only reducing pressure on policing but also saving lives.”

The virtual Q&A sessions will take place every Tuesday and Cheshire residents and businesses are invited to send their questions to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk with the subject title ‘Reassurance Q&A’ by midnight on Sunday to be answered the following week. Alternatively, questions can also be taken by phone during regular office hours by calling 01606 364000.

To read the full summary of the session on Tuesday 5 May, please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/public-consultation/reassurance-qas/