POLICE across Cheshire have swooped to arrest people on outstanding warrants, including 63 in the west of the county.
Cheshire Police arrested a total of 179 people last week as part of ‘Operation CleanSweep, targeting offenders who had failed to appear at court, were on a warrant or had been named as a suspect in a criminal investigation.
The force’s head of criminal justice and custody, Supt Peter Crowcroft, said: “This was a planned operation to sweep up offenders who thought that they could ignore the police and the courts.
“This week they have learned that this is not the case and that police are determined to make offenders feel the consequences of their actions.”
A total of 26 people listed as wanted on the Police National Computer for offences such as assault, fraud, burglary and rape were apprehended during the week-long operation.
Another 35 people who had previously failed to appear at court to answer charges, were collared and put before the next available court and seven others who had failed to pay fines were also picked up by police.
A total of 111 of those arrested were people named as suspects in ‘live’ police investigations.
Supt Crowcroft said: “These are people who have been directly linked to crimes by witnesses, forensic evidence or information from local communities.
“Thanks to this initiative, many victims of crime are going to get good news that we have made real progress in detecting their crime.”
As part of the operation, police also sent letters to the families and associates of wanted offenders, reminding them that harbouring fugitives was an offence and urging their co-operation in bringing people to justice.
As a result, a number of wanted people handed themselves in immediately because they realised that the police were on their trail.
In West Cheshire 17 people were arrested because they failed to appear in court, 13 were listed as wanted on the Police National Computer and 33 were named suspects in criminal investigations.
Western area commander Chief Supt Phil Jones, said: “The arrests this week will have real impact.
“They show that people committing crime in West Cheshire will be taken off the streets and that we will be relentless when tracking down offenders who try to avoid the consequences of their behaviour”.