Police to target seasonal thieves

Operation Cracker has been launched by police in Buxton as they look to crack down on seasonal shoplifters.

Increased plain clothes and uniformed patrols will be used by officers to target shoplifting, purse dipping and any other crimes which increase in the run-up to Christmas.

Sergeant Jon Lloyd, who leads the Buxton Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “First and foremost, our priority is to protect the community and the retailers in Buxton from becoming the victims of this type of crime.

“Christmas shopping brings a buzz to the town centre and visitors, residents and retailers should feel safe going about their business preparing for the big day.

“At this time of year, people often carry more cash than usual and busy crowds can provide a fertile ground for thieves to spot an opportunity.

“We are there to ensure that opportunity does not arise, and to reassure people that we are out on the streets and keeping criminals off them.”

As well as patrolling the streets and shopping centres, officers are also on hand to offer simple crime prevention tips to help people avoid becoming a victim of crime at this time of year.

This includes:

l Keep valuables such as mobile phones, cameras and purses, on your person and out of view

l Keep your handbag zipped and carry it under your arm, with the opening on the inside of your body

l Make sure you don’t leave bags or handbags unattended

l Never carry your PIN numbers in the same purse or wallet as your bank cards

l Get hold of a purse chain that will secure your purse or wallet to the inside of a bag or belt loop, alerting you straight away if someone tries to steal it

l Don’t keep your wallet in a back pocket – store it in an inside pocket of your trousers or jacket, or in a secure bag

l Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity and report anything you see to police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or, in an emergency, 999.