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Crime-free Christmas campaign in Dereham

PUBLISHED: 11:41 07 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 July 2010

Emma Knights

Police in Dereham have launched a campaign to ensure shoppers and retailers enjoy a crime-free Christmas.

Dereham Police, including uniformed and plain-clothes officers and special constables, is working with retail security staff, Breckland Council CCTV operators and shop assistants in the town.

By EMMAKNIGHTS

emma.knights@archant.co.uk

Police in Dereham have launched a campaign to ensure shoppers and retailers enjoy a crime-free Christmas.

Dereham police, including uniformed and plain-clothes officers and special constables, are working with retail security staff, Breckland Council CCTV operators and shop assistants in the town.

The campaign, which was launched on Friday, aims to prevent thefts from shops, arrest shoplifters and reduce the fear of crime during the festive season.

During the weekend officers were also giving advice to shoppers on the security of their purses and valuables, and leaflets were distributed warning people not to leave items on display in their vehicles.

"Not everybody sees Christmas as the season of goodwill, and thieves are just waiting to take advantage of people who let their guard slip.

"If we can see a purse in an insecure bag, then so can a thief," said Sgt Terry Scott of the Dereham Safer Neighbourhood Team.

The team has also been using the campaign to deal with anti-social behaviour and people who are caught driving irresponsibly, as well as track down people who are wanted by the police.

On Friday, the campaign saw a woman shopper in her 40s help police catch a 25-year-old man in Dereham's Nelson Place who was suspected of shoplifting.

Sgt Scott said: "This has been an excellent start to our Christmas campaign; we are tackling issues that affect the community at a time when most people just want to enjoy the run-up to Christmas, and not have to worry about the behaviour and actions of a selfish few.

"Dereham is a safe, pleasant town in which to shop, and we will endeavour to ensure it stays that way."

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