Campaign for safe shopping in Norwich over Christmas

Police in Norwich have launched a campaign to ensure shoppers in the city stay safe over the festive period.

Operation Festive will run until January 4 and will see city centre safer neighbourhood team officers carrying out high visibility daytime patrols focused on Gentlemen's Walk. There will also be crime prevention stalls at Chapelfield and Castle Mall on various days.

Purse dipping and shoplifting crime figures often peak over the Christmas period and officers are determined to prevent as many offences as possible.

The increase is due to the increased volume of people coming into Norwich to do their shopping which can provide more opportunities for potential thieves.

Chief Insp Dennis Lacey said: 'We are aiming to drive the number of offences down over the next couple of months by also proactively working with shops in the city centre.

'In Norwich, 86pc of shoplifters are caught so we are sending out a strong warning that shoplifting won't be tolerated at this time of year or at any time.

'Myself and superintendent Paul Sanford will be included in high visibility foot patrols at given times to reinforce the importance of the operation and demonstrate how determined we are to ensure people stay safe while shopping in the city centre.

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'We want people to enjoy their experience of shopping, however we want them to be able to enjoy it safely. Therefore we would urge shoppers to remain vigilant and take on board crime prevention advice such as keep their bags closed and close to them at all times.'

Crime prevention advice includes: close your purse and put it away before you leave the till; try not to overload yourself with bags and coats; avoid carrying your wallet in a back trouser pocket; keep cash secure and out of sight; don't let people see where you put your money, do not leave your handbag, pushchair or shopping trolley unattended. When packing groceries in your car, never leave your handbag on the boot or roof of your car. Purse alarms are available to buy from your local police station.

Stands giving out crime prevention advice will be set up as follows: November 25, 11am-3pm, at the dining terrace at Chapelfield; December 3, 9am-5.30pm, floor two near The Canary Store at the Castle Mall; December 16, 11am-3pm, at the dining terrace, Chapelfield.

Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact Ben Kendall on 01603 772423 or email