On 9th January 2014, Chris Challoner and Brian Charlesworth attended a Rural Communities Focus Group, which was initiated by Cheshire Police, to explore ways of improving communications.
Chris and Brian represented Church Minshull Parish Council, with other attendees from Wardle and Wrenbury, which was facilitated by Louise Lowry, a civilian Information Analyst from the Communications Dept of Cheshire Police.
Views expressed by all parties were fairly similar, in that Police were almost always present either by invitation, or due to an emergency/incident, rather than from initiatives on their part.
The opportunities for communication offered by Church Minshull's ARENA and Church websites and the Insight Magazine were stressed; as were possible opportunities for speakers from Police to attend various meeting, e.g. Mens Breakfast Group,/W.I /Public Meetings etc. (as long as they didn't want to come to just reel off a list of crime stats !)
Brian's role as Parish Councillor at Police Cluster Meetings was also stressed as another link, as well as his link into the local Farming Community.
A Cheshire Police Alert which is a free service and allows you to sign up to and receive local information by your preferred communication channel, was also brought to the attention of all present, which was news to all attendees and did rather summarise the need for Cheshire Police Communications to develop their links with Rural Communities.
To sign up for these alerts go to: https://www.cheshirepolicealert.co.uk
The Police Communications Department at Winsford is currently undergoing a structure change, but the meeting was assured that, following this and other such meetings in other areas of Cheshire, all the points discussed would be incorporated into an ongoing Communications policy...the meeting allowed the attendees the opportunity to express thier views and also offered more lines of communication to explore ourselves.