Police toast Operation Sherry as crime drops
9:01am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
FESTIVE crime in the town centre has fallen to its lowest in six years, new figures have revealed.
Police run Operation Sherry in the town centre every December in a bid to reduce robbery, burglaries, shoplifting and vehicle crime which traditionally increase in the run-up to Christmas.
During the day, police concentrated on car vehicle crime, pickpocketing and shoplifting, using initiatives such as handing out purse bells to shoppers, while at night officers patrolled Bolton’s streets as revellers enjoyed the town’s nightlife.
Police wore headcams to capture crimes on video.
Bottles of water branded with Think Safe Drink Safe messages were handed out to revellers by special constables and volunteers from the Street Angels.
The figures show 55 crimes were recorded in December, compared to 89 in the same period in 2011.
The highest crime rate in the last six years was in 2008 when 169 crimes were recorded.
There were no robberies or house burglaries, while shoplifting fell from 39 incidents in 2011 to 21 in 2012, and miscellaneous thefts dropped from 32 to 21.
Vehicle crime increased, with five incidents in 2011 and six last year, which Sgt Paul Ellis, pictured, said was caused by a spate of catalytic converters thefts in the first week. No vehicles were broken into. There were three burglaries from businesses at Health Rack in Deansgate, Bolton Market and Virgin in Oxford Street.
Sgt Ellis said: “The operation is a success because of the support locally from businesses and the community.
“People have taken on board the safety advice from ourselves and the community safety team, and we have seen a reduction in offences as a direct result. Working together with Bolton Council in the ‘offers shop’ we have been able to deal with a variety of issues relating to crime, housing, anti-social behaviour and other serious matters, while being in the ideal central location to respond effectively.
“This will be the last Operation Sherry I am involved in prior to moving to the response teams at Bolton so I am delighted that we have rounded my time off here with such good reductions in crime.”
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