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Crimestoppers

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…. It doesn’t seem possible that, here we are again, Christmas snapping at our heels. When you are a child, you spend your whole life looking forward to Christmas and wishing it was here. When you become an adult, it seems that it is always Christmas! It’s only a few weeks since I took the Christmas tree down from last year!

Well, as our shopping centres start filling up to bursting point with shoppers, Police are out in force to dissuade those inclined to help themselves, from committing crimes. A special operation is being run, with a zero tolerance policy against shoplifters. People caught helping themselves in stores WILL be arrested and prosecuted.

There is an assumption from some thieves that stealing from shops is a victimless crime. Clearly, that is not the case, and we all finish up paying increased prices to cover the cost of those who help themselves. In the current economic climate, smaller traders particularly can ill afford to have their stock stolen.

Often, shoplifting gangs will travel from outside the area to target a town, fill their bags, and then move on. Police will be at bus and rail stations targeting those that thought it might be a good idea to travel to Hampshire to steal their Christmas.

Whilst being jostled in the throng, it is easy for a pickpocket to have your purse or wallet out of your bag, or pocket. Avoid using a back pocket for your wallet, and keep your handbag zipped up at all times. If you have a zipped pocket in your jacket, that will also slow down any would-be thief.

Keep an eye on your shopping bags too. There are many distractions at this time of year, and if you have your young children with you, they too will be more excited and take more of your attention. It only takes a moment for someone to pick up one of your shopping bags and walk away with it. You may not even notice until you get home, and then wonder if you’re going mad as you were sure you’d bought…..

When loading your car in supermarket car parks, keep an eye on your trolley. Again, it only takes a moment for someone to walk by and take something from the top of your trolley whilst you are putting your handbag in the front of the car, or strapping your children into their seats. A bottle of spirits or even a joint of meat can easily disappear without you even noticing, and can be quite expensive to replace.

Christmas trees are a favourite of some thieves. They allow the farmer to work for years growing the trees, so they can steal them from fields and sell them out the back of a van in a lay-by somewhere. As ever, if the tree is a fraction of the proper price, please be suspicious.

Don’t let someone else give your presents this Christmas!

Remember – if you have information about ANY crime, please do not hesitate to give Crimestoppers a call on 0800 555 111 or log on to www.crimestoppers-uk.org where you can also give information and remain anonymous. For those tweeters amongst you, please follow me @HantsCrimestopp for regular Crimestoppers updates.

I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. PC 741 Simon Wright

Article posted on: 03 December 2012

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