Partner agencies joined together to celebrate the rollout of Shield to 1,200 homes in Tattenhall and Beeston.
Shield is a Cheshire Police initiative which uses a state-of-the-art forensic liquid containing a DNA code unique to each property and can be used to mark belongings, so it can be returned to the owner regardless of where it is recovered.
The scheme was initially launched in October 2016 and since then thousands of residents from across the rural areas of Chester Local Policing Unit have already joined the scheme. The rollout to Tattenhall and Beeston has taken the total to approximately 6,000 rural homes and farms across West Cheshire.
To celebrate the initial success and raise awareness of the scheme an event took place yesterday, Tuesday 8 May, at at the Barbour Institute in Tattenhall. The event was attended by Chief Inspector Mike Evans and Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane. Representatives from Selecta DNA, Sanctuary Housing Trust and local Parish Councils also attended.
PC Gerard Gigg, who has led the roll-out, said: “Shield demonstrates that the Constabulary is continuing to tackle rural crime in all its forms, sending out a clear message that Cheshire will not be a soft touch for criminals.
“Crime in the rural communities surrounding Chester is low and we are committed to doing all that we can to keep it that way.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “The work undertaken by PC Gigg and his team is exceptional and I have no doubt that the scheme will make a real difference. Their enthusiasm has been outstanding, and this kind of proactive policing is so vital to our rural communities.
“Preventing and tackling rural crime is one of my key priorities as Commissioner and I would encourage residents who have benefited from the work of Operation Shield to complete our Rural Crime Survey, which we will be launching shortly, to enable us to measure the progress of this fantastic initiative.”
As part of the rollout PC Gigg, supported by local PCSOs and Community Safety wardens, have distributed almost 1,200 Shield DNA kits to homes and farms across the Tattenhall and Beeston.
As well as distributing property marking kits, the visits to local homes were also a great opportunity to directly engage with local residents and listen to their concerns and priorities.
PC Gigg concluded: “I would like to acknowledge the continued support received from Chief Inspector Mike Evans and Inspector Barry Brown.
“Thanks to their ongoing commitment we’ve been able to build stronger relationships with our rural residents; while also making the communities more resilient communities and less attractive to those who want to cause harm.”
To find out more about the Shield initiative, including how it works and how to join, visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/advice-and-support/business-safety-and-security/operation-shield-property-marking-system/