Police across the North West join up for crackdown on criminals

OFFICERS are joining forces across the North West to crackdown on criminals who use the transport system to commit crime or engage in anti-social behaviour.

Nearly 600 officers from Merseyside Police, Lancashire Constabulary, North Wales Police, Cheshire Constabulary, British Transport Police, Mersey Tunnels Police, the Port of Liverpool Police and the North West Regional Motorway Policing Group will be working together on a coordinated strike against criminals using the region's roads, ports, railways and Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Officers are out in force using Automatic Number Plate Reconition (ANPR) technology to detect criminals using the roads in Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and Lancashire.

The main focus of this strand of the operation is against illegal motorists and those who use the roads to carry out acquisitive crime including burglary, theft and car crime.

ANPR is a valuable tool which recognises stolen vehicles and illegal motorists so that officers can get them off the road fast.

Metal-detecting safety arches are being used at ports, bus and railway stations across the region to stop criminals who are carrying weapons.

Officers also have metal-detecting gloves and wands at their disposal to check that passengers are not armed.

There is high visibility patrolling at these stations and police support for bus and railway staff for example during ticket checks.

Stop checks of boats using the Port of Liverpool are targeting the transportation of controlled drugs and weapons.

The high visibility operation will ensure that the strong arm of the law is felt by criminals and would-be offenders across the region.

Assistant chief constable Simon Byrne of Merseyside Police said: "Part of our Total War on Crime involves disrupting criminals' lives as much as we can.

"This operation is focusing on the transport system because restricting a criminal's ability to travel is a very effective way of reducing their ability to commit crime.

"Anti-social behaviour on the bus and railway network is also unacceptable and we are sending a clear message that it will not be tolerated.

"By working together with our neighbouring forces and the roads, railways and maritime police we expect to achieve even better results and to cast an even wider net over the region's criminals