Christmas brings no rest for the wicked as Cheshire Police relaunch Operation Hatay


Cheshire Police in a drugs raid Pic:CheshirePolice

Operation Hatay has been brought back for the third time since June, as police look to crackdown on crime over the festive season and ensure that criminals have nowhere to hide.

Crime has fallen by 40% over the last decade, and Cheshire Police are looking to further the trend.

The Operation targets offenders who have failed to appear in court, are wanted on warrant or who are suspects in criminal investigations.

Superintendent Pete Crowcroft said: “Every day, someone decides to not turn up at court or evade the police for an offence. This is a continued and concerted effort and will always be part of Cheshire Constabulary’s approach”.

This time, in the spirit of the season, Cheshire Police are sending Constabulary Christmas cards to the last known locations of such offenders, in addition to having men on the ground at all times.

Crowcroft said: “Harbouring letters have been slipped inside the cards reminding offenders to hand themselves in, or those who may know where they are, of the possible consequences of not telling police if they have information on their whereabouts.

“No matter what time of year, we will continue day and night to find those who commit crime in Cheshire.”

Operation Hatay will continue through the week and will involve the Neighbourhood Policing Units, the Major Investigation Team and others within the force operations department.

“This is what policing is all about, ensuring that those who evade justice are locked up as quickly as possible so the victims can see justice being done.” Crowcroft added.

This follows the success of first two phases of the Operation, which saw 352 arrests in offences varying from road traffic incidents, burglary, through to drugs possession.

Operation Hatay Two notably led to the police catching the people involved in the theft of an 18th century piece of art in the Chester Cathedral that was valued at £28,000.

The painting, named The Rising of Lazarus, was retrieved along with a hoard of other religious artworks, including paintings, crucifixes and busts.

The third phase of the Operation will work in conjunction with Operation Blue Christmas, which is already underway and specifically targets burglary, theft, and vehicle crime.

Superintendent Mark Culworth said it was crucial that the police department and the Chester people worked together to counter crime over the festive season: “The community really are our eyes and ears at this time of year.

“We encourage them to ring us if they see anything suspicious and let us be the judge of what that person’s up to”.

If you know of someone who is wanted by the courts or by the police, contact police on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.




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