OPERATION DRYSTONE - Christmas Crime Prevention Blitz in York

Friday, 19 December, 2008

Christmas crime prevention came under the spotlight in York as a team of 24 police officers and staff took to the streets to hand out advice to shoppers and retailers on Thursday 18th December.

Neighbourhood Police Officers and PCSOs were supported by a team of police staff from force headquarters at Newby Wiske.

The high-visibility patrols were in addition to those already carried out by the local Safer Neighbourhoods Team and are part the force's current crime reduction campaign - Operation Drystone - which uses extra resources from around the county to target specific areas in a bid to keep crime down.

Inspector Mark Khan of York Safer Neighbourhoods Team, said: "The operation has proved a great success and I am happy report that there has been no theft crimes reported in the city centre today.

"The extra resources provided by Operation Drystone enhance our capability to disrupt criminal activity and keep the centre of York as safe as possible for residents, retailers and visitors alike."

Police staff member, Rachel Barton, who works in the Press and Communications office at force headquarters and took part in today's initiative, added: "Today's operation has given us a great opportunity to interact with members of the public and to support our operational colleagues.

"The vast majority of people were very receptive to the advice and welcomed our presence on the streets. It's excellent that we have made a contribution to reducing crime in city.

Inspector John Wilkinson who heads Operation Drystone, said: "York is extremely busy at this time of year and the extra patrols are designed to provide a visible deterrent to any would-be thieves and to provide crime prevention advice to members of the public.

"York remains a very safe city in which to live, work and visit, however, criminals take advantage of the busy streets and extra cash around at this time of year and won't hesitate to strike at any available opportunity - a few simple precautions could help prevent a very unhappy Christmas."

Police have issued the following crime prevention advice to help your Christmas remain crime-free:

At home:

Make sure gifts, valuables and cash are not on view
Ensure your home is secure with windows and doors locked
Don't hide keys in garages, sheds or under mats!
Keep valuables and keys out of reach of windows and doors

In your vehicle:

Try to park in secure and well lit car parks
Remove Sat Navs and their holders when you leave your car
Don't leave mobile phones, ipods or other valuables on display
Conceal all valuables and shopping in the boot if you can't remove them

Out and about:

Keep purse and wallets out of sight
Don't leave bags open, unattended or out of view
Be vigilant at cash-points
Always cover your hand when entering your PIN
Check the card slot for any unusual features or plastic covers

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