Extra police on the streets for Christmas shopping season

The two girls have been found safe and well. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The two girls have been found safe and well. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

More police will be in Ipswich tonight as the Christmas shopping season gets under way.

In an effort to target anti-social behaviour and crack down on opportunist thieves, Ipswich policing teams are drafting in extra officers to reassure shoppers during the festive season.

Police also want to remind people to be vigilant of their personal safety as thieves may try to take advantage of the busy period.

“We want everyone coming into town to do their Christmas shopping to have a safe and enjoyable experience,” said Detective Inspector Holly Evans of the South CID in Ipswich.

“So extra officers will be on patrol as late night shopping gets underway today and they will continue to do so every Thursday evening throughout this period.

“We would encourage you to stop and have a chat with our officers if you wish to – you can raise any issues of concern or just say hello.

“We would also like to remind you that while you’re out enjoying the shopping experience, please remain aware of your personal possessions as thieves can often see this time of year as an opportunity to target both unsuspecting shoppers and busy stores.”

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Detectives are also urging shoppers to report any suspicious behaviour by dialling 999 or approaching an officer out on patrol.

Det Insp Evans added: “Officers will also be on hand to show support for local retailers and to deal with any crime or anti-social behaviour during what is perhaps the busiest time of the year for stores in the town.”

For shoppers to protect themselves, police offer the following advice:

• Keep your bag closed and close to you at all times, if possible with the opening towards your body

• Close your purse and put it away before you leave the till

• Try not to overload yourself with bags and coats

• Avoid carrying your purse or wallet in a back trouser pocket

• Keep cash secure and out of sight

• Do not leave your handbag, pushchair or shopping trolley unattended for any length of time

People should also remember not to leave presents on display in their cars, police said.

If possible, items should be locked away securely in the boot of the car and out of sight.