Shoppers get extra Christmas protection

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North Yorkshire Police are to run a campaign to make sure this Christmas season is as safe and free of crime as possible.

Taking the slogan “stop crime”, Operation Advent will concentrate on Harrogate town centre and what’s going on at night as well as during the day.

A Yorkshire Post investigation earlier this year revealed that the town had already experienced a 15 per cent increase in crime compared to the previous year as cuts to police budgets began to take effect.

Extra police officers, both in uniform and plain clothes, will be on patrol during the day to clamp down on shoplifters and thieves as people complete their Christmas shopping.

There will also be checks on parked vehicles to ensure valuables are not on display.

The police patrols will be backed up by CCTV and the Harrogate and District Businesses Against Crime radio-link system.

Shoppers will be offered advice to protect themselves against pickpockets.

After dark, Night Marshals will work with door supervisors and high visibility policing to ensure safe nights out for everyone who behaves responsibly. People are also being reminded to look after their belongings when they are out at night to avoid thefts.

Inspector Will Scarlett, of the Harrogate safer neighbourhood team, said: “We ask for the public’s help in ensuring crime is kept low this Christmas.

“If you see something suspicious whilst out shopping, please report it, either to the shop or the police who will be out and about.

“Look after those personal items and don’t leave them where someone can help themselves.”

He added: “Operation Advent will be the focus of police activity for the whole of December and looks to continue the good work that is ongoing in bringing down crime and ensuring that North Yorkshire remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit in the country.”