Officers in Widnes bring festive joy to elderly victims of crime Date published: 16th December 2016 2.24pm

Officers at Cheshire Constabulary have brought festive joy to the elderly this Christmas by delivering 50 hampers to those who have been a victim of crime.

PC Lee Hillyard and PC Cameron Taylor of Widnes Local Policing Unit delivered delightful treats to bring a smile to residents who this year suffered at the hands of thieves and burglars.

Both officers were greeted with surprise and an overwhelming thank you as they handed elderly residents the hampers which included a Christmas meal and a voucher for Morrison’s café as well as jingle purse bells to help prevent their purses being stolen. The hamper also contained a home security pack as well as a booklet from the NHS on ‘Staying Safe in Winter’.

The officers were joined by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service who carried out home safety checks and fitted new smoke detectors.

Inspector Chris Adkins, of Widnes Local Policing Unit, said: “Christmas is well known for being a happy time of year, but for some of the elderly community it can often feel like a lonely time too.

“Officers not only wanted to surprise residents with a gift but let them know that we are thinking of them during the festive season and are here to provide support.

“We know how being a victim of crime can have a significant impact on somebody’s life, especially at this time of year when the elderly community can feel isolated and vulnerable. Therefore it is vital that we ensure they feel safe in their homes and have the support of officers through what can be a difficult time.

“We hope receiving the Christmas hampers brought festive cheer to the elderly community and they have a happy Christmas and New Year.”

Mark Bushell, who is Station Manager for both Runcorn and Widnes Fire Station, said: “We were delighted to be involved in such a positive initiative. This is a great example of how multi-agency working can really benefit the community, and provide reassurance and support for victims of crime.

“Every resident who received a hamper was given a home safety assessment by Widnes Red Watch firefighters and Widnes Prevention Team. The residents were really grateful to have their smoke alarms checked, and took away some valuable fire safety and home safety advice. We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable Christmas and this can be achieved through making simple changes in your home to minimise the risk of fire.

“At Christmas, elderly residents find comfort in the knowledge that they are cared for, and they’ll always have the emergency services to rely on.”