/ Chief Cons urges Christmas shoppers to stay safe

In the run up to the Christmas party season, Greater Manchester Police’s Chief Constable, Sir Peter Fahy, has been on foot patrol in the city centre as part of Operation Advent*, GMP’s response to tackling the potential spikes in crime at this time of year. 

On Monday 10 December, Sir Peter praised his staff for the way they dealt with a very busy weekend for Manchester, which included events such as the Manchester Derby, the X Factor Final and one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.

He said: “This weekend brought huge numbers of people to the city, but again Manchester showed how well it handles big events. The Christmas markets have drawn in many visitors, and the force has put out additional officers to disrupt those involved in theft and robbery.”

Along with other officers, the Chief Constable patrolled the city’s streets on the evening of Friday 7 December, and gave advice to young people who often openly carry their mobile phones while waiting at the side of the road, which makes it easier for those wanting to snatch them.   

Friday also saw a number of officers engaged in searches for vulnerable people who had been lost in the crowds by their carers.

The Chief Constable added: "We want everyone to come and enjoy themselves in the City Centre, but people who are caring for those with disabilities, or those who get confused, just need to ensure that they have contact details on them, as well as a mobile phone, and know where to meet up if they get lost. It is very easy to lose people in big crowds, and this causes great distress to the carer and the missing person. Fridays and Saturdays will be particularly busy in the coming weeks."

GMP will be continuing its operations in the City Centre in the run up to Christmas, and is sending a strong message to thieves that they will certainly not be receiving a festive welcome if they try to exploit the opportunities presented by large crowds.

For non-emergency calls or to report a crime call police on 101, or for more information visit gmp.police.uk

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.  Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information.  Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement. 

Use 999 only in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress. 

* Note: 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

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