Police in Kettering have launched a Christmas crime operation to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre during the festive period.
The seasonal initiative – Operation Lapland – was launched today (Thursday) and aims to ensure visitors to the town enjoy a safe shopping experience.
It will run throughout December with officers carrying out extra high-visibility patrols and working closely with retailers and partner agencies to deter offenders and deal robustly with those who commit crime.
They will also be meeting members of the public to share useful information and crime prevention advice.
Sergeant Nathan Murray said: “The aim of the operation is to prevent, disrupt and deter shoplifting, purse and bag thefts as well as anti-social behaviour and other crime.
“We will be working closely with the Kettering Retail Crime Initiative (KRCI), which brings together local retailers, the police, local authority and other agencies, and enables better sharing of information and intelligence to help identify and deter offenders from committing crime or anti-social behaviour in the town.
“Christmas is a busy time for local stores and we aim to provide a safe and secure environment for shoppers, businesses and other visitors to the town over the festive period.
“As well as high-visibility patrols to provide reassurance and act as a deterrent, officers will also visit known offenders in the area to give advice about staying away from crime and signposting them to any support services they may need.
“Local charity S2S provides support for adults with substance misuse issues and we will be working with S2S during the operation, along with the Kettering Food Bank, another support charity which aims to meet the immediate welfare requirements of those in need.”
As well as increased patrols and closer working with retailers and partner agencies, each week officers will be setting up a stand in the Newlands Centre, where they will be on hand to share useful safety and crime prevention advice as well as give out bells and alarms to anyone who may be vulnerable to purse or bag theft.
Sgt Murray added: “KRCI, Kettering Council and Councillor Keli Watts have kindly funded the purchase of some useful crime prevention materials, including alarms and bells which can be attached to bags to alert people if someone touches them.”
The Newlands Centre and 3 Lions Security Ltd are supporting the initiative and have sponsored two banners which will be used as part of Operation Lapland.
Officers are also reminding people about the steps they can take to reduce the risk of become a victim of crime while out and about in the town centre:
- If you travel by car, make sure you remove all items from your vehicle when you leave it – including the sat nav cradle and suction pads
- Don’t leave you keys in the ignitions, even when filling up with fuel or popping into the shop
- De-clutter your handbag – take out only what you need and avoid carrying large amounts of cash
- When you’re out shopping, keep all bags firmly closed and on your person at all times
- Carry wallets in inside pockets of jackets or coats, not in the back pocket of trousers
- When using your credit or debit card, shield your PIN and take the time to make sure you safely put away your purse or wallet
- Never leave your bag unattended on the back of trolleys or pushchairs
- Don’t be tempted to return to your car and drop off your shopping bags – keep them with you or take them home