Extra police patrols will be taking place in Ipswich as the Christmas shopping season gets underway today, Thursday 22nd November.
The aim will be to target anti-social behaviour and theft from retail premises, while providing a reassuring presence for shoppers.
Officers would also like to take this opportunity to remind shoppers to be vigilant of their personal safety as opportunist thieves may try to take advantage of this busy time.
Detective Inspector Holly Evans, of South CID in Ipswich said: “We want everyone coming into town to do their Christmas shopping to have a safe and enjoyable experience so extra officers will be on patrol as late night shopping gets underway today and they will continue to do so every Thursday evening throughout this period.
“We would encourage you to stop and have a chat with our officers if you wish to – you can raise any issues of concern or just say hello.
“We would also like to remind you that while you’re out enjoying the shopping experience, please remain aware of your personal possessions as thieves can often see this time of year as an opportunity to target both unsuspecting shoppers and busy stores.
“Officers will also be on hand to show support for local retailers and to deal with any crime or anti-social behaviour during what is perhaps the busiest time of the year for stores in the town.”
Police are urging shoppers to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour using 999 or by approaching an officer while out on patrol.
In order for shoppers to protect themselves, police offer the following advice:
• Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, if possible with the opening towards your body.
• Close your purse and put it away before you leave the till.
• Try not to overload yourself with bags and coats.
• Avoid carrying your purse or wallet in a back trouser pocket.
• Keep cash secure and out of sight.
• Do not leave your handbag, pushchair or shopping trolley unattended for any length of time.
Shoppers should also remember not to leave any presents on display in their vehicles and they should if possible, keep them locked away securely in the boot of the car and out of sight.
Further crime prevention advice is available to view and download by visiting http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/crime-prevention-z