Police in Bolton were joined by the council and other partners to launch their Christmas crime crackdown. The initiative which is part of the Forcewide Operation Advent, sees the police, Council and other agencies working together to ensure that people living, working and socialising in the town centre can go about their business trouble-free over the festive period.
Officers will be increasing patrols across the area to target vehicle crime, pickpockets and shoplifting. They will also target known offenders by carrying out home visits and bail checks.
As part of the plans to police the night time economy during the busy Christmas parties officers will be wearing headcams to capture intelligence and evidence of criminal activity and will issued stop and searches and direction to leave notices if someone is acting suspiciously or disrupting the peace for the community.
Sergeant Paul Ellis from the Town Centre Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Once again this year, there will be lots of activity taking place throughout the festive period, to ensure that whether people are out shopping, working or socialising in Bolton town centre, they can do so safely.
“We will be doing a lot of work to target any offenders operating in the town centre and will continue to work closely with our pubs and clubs to clamp down on alcohol-related disorder. Anyone who thinks they can come to Bolton and cause trouble need not bother, as we will be watching out for you.”
The public awareness campaign is sponsored this year by Bolton at Home. Visitors to Saturday’s launch and crime prevention event will be able to speak to their local officers and pick up free crime prevention materials such as purse bells from the crime prevention stand, to reduce chances of being pick-pocketed while out Christmas shopping. They will also be able to pick up free reflective wrist bands for children, to keep them safe when crossing roads during the darker mornings and nights. Shoppers in Bolton town centre will see a large matrix board on Victoria Square advertising crime reduction messages throughout December, in order to prevent crimes such as theft and car crime.
The Every Action Has Consequences campaign (launched in Bolton in 2012 and winner of the GMP Divisional Award for Problem Solving) is being promoted in the town centre during December. The campaign aims at reducing alcohol related violence, and was originally launched in Blackburn following the tragic death of Adam Rogers, a 25-year old man who was killed by a single punch after intervening in a fight during a night out. It is being supported by licensees in Bolton’s Pub Watch scheme, who will be displaying posters in their premises, while others will have staff wearing t-shirts to promote it. For more information visit: www.eahconsequences.com.
Bottles of water branded with Think Safe Drink Safe messages will be handed out to revellers by Special Constables and Street Angels as they move between bars and clubs on weekends.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Policing, Councillor Derek Burrows said: “The run up to the festive period should be full of fun, not problems with drunkenness or rowdy behaviour. We’d encourage people not to drink too heavily as we want people to enjoy the holiday season rather than risk ending up being in hospital.
“This operation which involves the work of all partners aims to keep everyone as safe as possible during Christmas and the New Year.”
People can follow what police are doing for Operation Advent on GMP’s social media networks that include Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and audioBoo. All related tweets on Twitter will contain the hash tag #GMPAdvent
They can also use these sites to find out what officers are doing to fight crime in their neighbourhood, comment on police activity and get advice on how they can keep themselves and their property safe from criminals.
In addition, there will be an Advent calendar on the GMP website throughout December that will feature short daily video clips of officers giving seasonal crime prevention advice.
To report crime, please call police on the new non-emergency number 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress.
For more information about community safety visit www.bolton.gov.uk/communitysafety or visit www.facebook.com/besafeinbolton.
Follow the Town Centre Policing Team on Twitter @GMPBoltonCentre or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Boltoncentral