Criminals warned to stay out of Bolton town centre this Christmas
POLICE are hoping to drive criminals out of the town centre this Christmas as officers step up patrols.
Officers have warned criminals not to bother coming to Bolton following the launch of Operation Sherry.
It runs throughout December and aims to reduce crime, particularly shop-lifting, robbery, burglaries and vehicle crime.
Sgt Steve Lunn, from Bolton Central Neighbour-hood Policing Team, said: “Operation Sherry is about improving the perception of Bolton and improving the area.
“During the operation we will be putting numbers of officers on the streets and making a real difference by tackling problems that do hurt us such as purse dipping of elderly people and anti-social behaviour by getting the people responsible with the relevant services if they need them.”
Police will be liaising with shop workers, encouraging them to work on prevention rather than just detection by approaching people they suspect of shoplifting. Sgt Lunn said police will be giving out cat bells for people to attach to bags to deter thieves, people will be advised to keep bags zipped up and in sight.
Leaflets about how to keep belongings safe and stickers to place in cars warning would-be thieves valuables have been removed will also be available. Officers will also be clamping down on beggars in the street by issuing them with court summons.
Crime figures over the festive period in Bolton town centre last year showed 55 crimes were recorded in December, compared to 89 in the same period in 2011.
The highest crime rate was in 2008 when 169 crimes were recorded.
Ch Supt David Hull, Bolton's top police officer, said: “Year after year crime has been reduced during the operation and we have received really positive feedback about high visibility patrols — it makes people feel good.
“Criminals, don’t come to Bolton. If you do come you can expect to be met by a policing operation and will be policed out.”
The operation will run until December 31.
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