PSNI Operation Season’s Greetings gets under way

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With the countdown to Christmas well underway, police in Ballymoney will be doing their bit to keep local people safe in their homes, safe on the roads and safe when they’re out socialising this festive season.

As part of the Northern Ireland wide “Operation Season’s Greetings’”, officers will increase steps to deter and detect criminals exploiting the busy festive season for their own ends – with a special focus being placed on preventing burglaries and actively targeting prolific burglars, keeping party-goers safe and preventing road traffic collisions.

There will be increased patrols in key hot spot areas in an effort to prevent crime and reassure both shoppers and business owners that we are doing our bit to protect them. In particular, officers will be focussing on key shopping areas, night-life spots and major car parks as part of our increased visibility.

Chief Inspector Catherine Magee explained: “Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone, including the criminal, so don’t let them cash in on your Christmas.

“We want local residents to enjoy this festive season and we will do what we can to ensure criminals don’t get the opportunity to spoil it but please play your part, be responsible, and help to make this Christmas safe and enjoyable for everyone.

“Don’t make your home an easy or an attractive target. Always lock doors and windows and where possible, don’t leave presents on view in your home nor indeed in your car.

“If you are out socialising, by all means enjoy yourself, but please act responsibly, consider other people and make sure you and your friends plan your journey to get home safe. If you are having a drink, don’t drink and drive. We will be on the look out for drunk drivers at all times of the day so remember that you may still be over the limit and unfit to drive the following morning.

“If we all do our bit, we can make this a Christmas to remember for the right reasons.”

Some crime prevention steps include:

Be alert to the possibility of a thief snatching your handbag or mobile phone.

• Make sure you keep your handbag closed at all times. Also, if your bag has a strap, wear it in front of you across your body.

• When stopping for a well-deserved refreshment break at a café or restaurant, avoid putting your belongings on the floor or somewhere where you cannot continuously keep an eye on them.

• Be vigilant around ATM machines when taking out cash. Consider using your switch card and getting cash back.

• Don’t leave gifts or other valuables such as SatNavs inside the car for all to see - take them with you or lock them in the boot out of sight.

“We would urge retailers to think seriously about their security and check their premises regularly for anything suspicious. Anyone seeking crime prevention advice should contact the local Crime Prevention Officer on 0845 600 8000,” Chief Superintendent Clarke added.

Chief Inspector Magee concluded: “Finally, I would like to wish you all a very happy, peaceful and crime-free Christmas and New Year.”