The Christmas rush is a time which thieves can take advantage of. Crowded shops and harassed staff mean that there are more opportunities for dishonesty at this time of year. Partnerships work with local retailers and police to mount seasonal campaigns to try and raise awareness with retailers, their customers and thieves.
Purse bells and alarms to prevent theft from customers, and posters to alert shop staff to likely ways in which thieves operate, which is especially relevant for the many temporary staff taken on over the Christmas and New Year period, along with high visibility and covert police patrols and targetted operations, backed up by intelligence provided by partnerships, all play a part in seeking to reduce crime.
As part of its contribution, Tunbridge Wells Safe Town, in partnership with Kent Police and Tunbridge Wells community safety unit, has produced a leaflet – which can be copied and badged by anyone else, to distribute to all stores in the town, pointing out some of the ways in which thieves operate.
Roz Heaton, Safe Town manager said, ‘We know everyone is rushed off their feet and the pressure to deal with all the additional customers is intense, but it also gives would-be thieves an opportunity to use this as a cover. We have produced a simple leaflet, which has been distributed to all our members and other stores. We have used our visits to stores to reinforce the message and ask them to remain vigilant and report any incident to us immediately so we can liaise with police to identify people who are in town to steal at this time of year. We are quite happy if anyone wants to copy the message and re-badge it to distirubute in their own areas.’