CRIME in Cheshire has dropped by more than a third during the coronavirus lockdown.

Since the start of April, the number of incidents has reduced by a total of 34 per cent compared to the same period last year.

But more than 450 arrests have been in connection with domestic abuse incident since April 1, with the 285 people charged over these matters representing a ‘significant increase’.

Cheshire Police’s assistant chief constable Jenny Sims said: “Our officers, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to protect the people of Cheshire over the course of the pandemic and this hard work will continue.

“Overall crime has dropped by 34 per cent since April 1 compared to the same period last year.

“However, criminals are still committing crime even under the current circumstances and our proactive policing approach has had a significant impact in Cheshire.

“This has ranged from operations targeting business premises and schools to prevent burglaries with the support of the special constabulary and increasing our use of stop and search across the county on those suspected of being involved in crime to stop checks on our roads catching travelling criminals and visits to known offenders and victims of domestic abuse.

“The results speak for themselves with many ongoing investigations, positive outcomes at court and vital support provided to victims.”

Checks are still taking place on ‘key routes’ across Cheshire in order to catch criminals during the coronavirus outbreak.

ACC Sims added: “Each day our officers will remain highly visible within our local communities working to deny criminals the use of Cheshire’s roads and identify anyone committing one of the fatal five offences.

“With a particular focus on speeding, we will prevent those intent on flouting the law from doing so.

“I would like to take this time to thank the residents of Cheshire for their support and reassure them that we will do everything in our power to continue to pursue those who feel that they are above the law.

“We are out there doing our job and we need the residents of Cheshire to do their job by staying alert, and where possible stay at home.”