Pictured at the launch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland's annual Christmas operation are (from left) Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Service Operations, Chief Superintendent Stephen Murray and Chris O'Reilly, Retail NI Board member.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland has launched its annual Christmas operation which aims to keep people safe in the run-up to Christmas.
As part of Operation Season’s Greetings, there will be increased patrols in key areas across Northern Ireland in an effort to prevent crime and reassure both shoppers and business owners.
In particular, officers will be focusing on key shopping areas, night-life spots and major car parks as part of this increased visibility.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Murray said:
“This year will see a focus on public safety across a range of priorities including shopping, roads and transport and your safety when out and about. We have teamed up with partners, including Translink and Retail NI, to deliver guidance and ensure everyone has the best experience possible.
“We can be much more effective if we work together, so I would like people to think about how they can help prevent becoming the victim of a crime. I would encourage people to go to our website (www.psni.police.uk/christmas) where they will find a range of useful crime prevention and safety advice.
“Whether you are planning a festive night out, considering shopping online, concerned about the best way to secure your home or if you are just not sure of the best way to contact the police, there is a wealth of information on our website which everyone will find useful.
“This year our operation will have a particular focus on violence against women and girls therefore we will seek to increase our presence in nightlife areas and work with the hospitality industry and other partners to improve safety in public spaces.
“We take active steps to support all victims of domestic abuse. In the past we have seen an increase in domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas period and we want all victims to know that we are here for them. If you need the police, please call us on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”
Ian Campbell, Translink Director of Service Operations, said of the launch:
“Safety is always our top priority and we are pleased to support Operation Season's Greetings.
"We will be working closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland and its Safe Transport Team over the festive period to ensure the safety of our staff and customers and we would ask everyone to support and respect our teams at this busy time of year.
"You can find out more about our Christmas travel arrangements on our website or social media channels to help plan your journeys."
Chris O'Reilly, Retail NI Board member, said of the launch:
“This is the most important time of the year for our local retail sector. We urge consumers to stay safe, be vigilant of shop lifters, plan their shopping trips and be kind with hardworking retail staff.
“We also appeal to our members to work with the police to ensure shoppers and staff are safe this festive season.”