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Officers from GMP’s Rochdale district have this week launched a month-long operation aimed at ensuring that those who visit Rochdale, Middleton and Heywood town centres during the festive period can do so safely.
In preparation for the increased footfall that the three town centres experience as people are out Christmas shopping, or enjoying the night-time economy, Operation Elf was launched on Wednesday 1 December 2021. The operation will see an increase in high-visibility officers in hotspot locations to deter criminal activity and provide reassurance to residents. There will also be plain clothes officers who will be actively targeting opportunistic offenders.
GMP will be supported by a range of local partners throughout the operation such as the Council, Business Improvement District Rangers, Street Pastors and local business, in order to maximise the opportunity to prevent crime, by sharing intelligence. This will include working with CCTV operators and security staff to identify and catch offenders.
Sergeant Danny Shirazi from GMP’s Rochdale district, said: “We want people to feel safe visiting our local town centres whatever time of year they visit, and Operation Elf helps us do this by ensuring we have a higher number of officers patrolling at we know to be a busy time of year.
“I hope that our local residents feel reassured by the presence of our officers and that them and any would-be offenders understand that we will not tolerate any type of criminality in the Rochdale district.
“As people flock to centre, I would ask them to help us keep them safe, by following simple steps such as keeping valuables out of easy reach, staying vigilant when using cash machines and not leaving your newly purchased items on show in your car.
“On behalf of everyone at GMP Rochdale, have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year.”
Councillor Sue Smith, the council’s cabinet member for communities and cooperation, said: “We are really pleased that the Community Safety team at Rochdale borough council has partnered with Greater Manchester Police, Rochdale district to help make this operation happen.
“We have provided personal and property crime prevention products such as light timers, purse bells, torches and personal attack alarms for the Operation Elf launch, with the hope that it will help deter criminal activity and make people feel safer. We want everyone to have a lovely and safe Christmas.”
You can report crime online at www.gmp.police.uk. If it is an emergency dial 999, or 101 if it is a less urgent matter. Alternatively, if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.