MORE than 200 police officers hit the streets of Cheshire and Greater Manchester today, Thursday, as part of an operation that was hailed as the biggest of its kind.

The crackdown was launched in a bid to disrupt and stop illegal activity taking place between Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

Police were able to target criminals driving across the border using specialist technology during Operation Crossbow.

The cross border operation, which took part in some roads in Warrington, involved Cheshire Constabulary and Greater Manchester Police working together with partner agencies to reduce offending and criminality on the roads.

By using automatic number plate recognition cameras, officers were able to monitor virtually every vehicle that crossed between the two counties, stopping all vehicles that were on the roads illegally or were linked to criminal activity.

Superintendent Luke McDonnell from Cheshire Police said: “The objective of the operation is to target criminals who are using the road network to engage in criminal activity and we want t deny them that opportunity.

“It is a significant operation which has taken some detailed planning.

“The key part of this operation is about providing confidence to the local community so they can go about their day to day business.

Chief constable Simon Byrne from Cheshire Police added: “This is the first in a series of operations - where we will also be doing operations with Merseyside Police and North Wales – using this type of thinking to marshal our resources at a time and place that we choose and take the fight to the criminal rather than waiting for the crime to happen.”

The operation also involved staff from partner agencies such as the UK Border Agency, Department of Work and Pensions, Her Majesties Revenue and Customs and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.