CHESHIRE Police are opening helpdesks at stations in Chester and Ellesmere Port for residents who have no other means of reporting crime during the coronavirus lockdown.

Blacon, Chester Town Hall and Ellesmere Port police stations are among 16 that will be open across the county for one hour a day for members of the public who cannot contact the constabulary online or via the phone.

Police say the helpdesks will only be for urgent issues where there is no other way of contacting them and social distancing measures will be adopted to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Opening times for the helpdesks will be posted on the doors of each station every week, as well as being publicised on Cheshire Constabulary’s social media accounts.

Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: "We recognise that not everyone can contact us online or via the telephone during these unprecedented times.

"So we have made the decision to open the helpdesks at 16 of our stations for one hour a day so that the people who need our service but cannot contact the police via any others means can report urgent issues.

"This is not to be used for general enquiries and in line with the advice on keeping safe, only make the journey if absolutely essential.

"We are telling anyone who does come to the station to always keep to social distancing rules of staying two metres away from others.

"We will also be ensuring that measures are in place at the stations to keep the residents of Cheshire safe.

"Please only visit a police station if there is absolutely no alternative and the matter is urgent. In an emergency, where a crime is taking place or there is a danger to life, always dial 999."